Slovis, Patti still battling to replace Pickett at Pitt

Pittsburgh showed a lot of faith in soccer mentor Pat Narduzzi this offseason with a 9-12 months deal.

The major position for Narduzzi to make excellent on that exhibit of religion will be to confirm that the 2021 period wasn’t a fluke. The Panthers went 11-3 and received their initial Atlantic Coastline Meeting title, but did so with a superior-run offense operate by quarterback Kenny Pickett and offensive coordinator Mark Whipple.

Pickett is one particular of the major quarterback prospective clients in the NFL draft and Whipple departed for Nebraska in the offseason, earning re-forming the offense the prime work for Narduzzi this spring.

The prime candidates for Pitt’s quarterback work in 2022 are redshirt senior Nick Patti and Southern California transfer Kedon Slovis, and they built their initially circumstance to the general public in the Pitt Blue-Gold spring video game at Heinz Field on Saturday.

Patti played sparingly in 3 period as Pickett’s backup. He bought a golden prospect to cement his standing as the favored when Pickett opted out of the Peach Bowl, but suffered a broken collarbone in the game.

Now balanced, Patti started out for the gold squad Saturday, completing 4 of nine passes for 108 yards in his first competitive motion since the injury.

“It was awesome,” Patti stated. “I’m a competitor as a result of and as a result of. I was telling Coach Duzz to acquire the purple jersey off. … It was pleasant to be back again out there.”

Slovis transferred into Pitt this wintertime immediately after three up-and-down seasons at USC. He was phenomenal as a freshman in 2019, throwing for 3,502 yards and 30 touchdowns. But the pandemic-shortened 2020 period didn’t appear to do his growth any favors and an harm impacted his 2021 period.

Slovis completed 10 of 21 for 64 yards on Saturday. With a new group and a new landscape, he is hoping the improve of landscape at Pitt can springboard his vocation back again to the heights of his freshman season.

“Teammates, coaching staff, didn’t know who the (offensive coordinator) was likely to be until I got on campus but everyone’s definitely just impressed me,” Slovis stated. “Just really glad to be aspect of that.”


Running the exhibit for the Pitt offense is now Frank Cignetti Jr., who arrived more than from Boston Higher education to switch Whipple. Regardless of Patti’s grater experience at Pitt, the new program means a clean start off for the two gamers.

“It was certainly a learning practical experience for all of us coming with a new offense,” Patti reported. “It was studying a great deal of new stuff that Coach Cig wanted to do. I think he did a fantastic work meshing it with what we had and just building the transition much easier on us.”

No matter of who wins the quarterback struggle, the new scheme ought to be considerably less quarterback-heavy after Pitt threw 367 moments with Pickett in 2021.

“Definitely a minimal a lot more functioning the ball than we did in the earlier,” said jogging back again Daniel Carter, who scored 2 times while taking part in for equally groups on Saturday.

If the offense — and specially the quarterbacks — can maintain up their end of the bargain, the Panthers are perfectly positioned to once again contend for the ACC Coastal Division title, and most likely a lot more.

“We have a good deal of aspirations,” Slovis explained. “We converse about winning the ACC, but yet again, you can go even more than that. You can converse about a lot of fantastic factors. We have to get the facts right. We have to get a lot much better this offseason. If we do that, I consider the sky is the restrict.”