Narduzzi stands by Slovis as Pitt’s QB

Panthers getting ready for Virginia Tech Saturday, hoping to rebound from loss to GT

Kedon Slovis beat out Nick Patti this preseason to be the Pitt starting quarterback. Despite a 3-2 start, and a surprising loss Saturday night to Georgia Tech, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi has no designs of removing Slovis from that position.

“Not at all, not at all. Not even close,” Narduzzi said Monday at his weekly press conference. “He’s the best QB we have at this point, without a question.”

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Slovis led Pitt to just seven points in the first half Saturday, doing so on a 29-yard pass to tight end Gave Bartholomew.

Pitt’s offense, bogged down some — according to Narduzzi — by the heavy rains and wind, was unable to move the football efficiently until the final quarter.

Plus, the Panthers just weren’t on the field much offensively, especially in the first 15 minutes.

“Nine plays,” Narduzzi said of the opening quarter for his offense. “It’s hard to get in a rhythm as a play caller when you run nine plays in the first quarter.”

That said, Narduzzi seemed impressed with the finish, as Slovis tossed two more touchdowns in the final frame and ended up with 305 yards.

“You just watch the way he operated in the second half… you talk about having a short memory and being able to rebound in the second half,” Narduzzi said. “I was happy with the way he played in the second half. Not as happy in the first half, but it wasn’t all him.”

Pitt has now lost twice on hits home field, dropping a game last month to Tennessee in overtime. Slovis was knocked out of that game, and did not play the following week in Western Michigan. Narduzzi is eager to see, coming off a loss, how his quarterback responds.

“Putting those games together, back to back, and playing your type of game, it takes reps and it takes time,” he said.

Slovis has been sacked nine times in his four games played, including twice against Georgia Tech. While holding onto the ball too long has appeared to be a periodic flaw in his game, Narduzzi still sees a passer capable overcoming that.

And Pitt hopes that shows Saturday, when it welcomes Virginia Tech to Acrisure Stadium, in hopes of drawing its ACC record back to .500.

“I think he’s really comfortable back there,” Narduzzi said of Slovis. “You see how he sits in the pocket and throws the ball. He’s not afraid to sit back there and take a shot.

“And that’s what you have to do. He’s not a scrambler, he’s not a guy that’s going to take off and run for no reason. We’ve got to get him in a rhythm.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports