PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Coming off the win against Boston College on Thursday, Pitt will stay with redshirt sophomore Nate Yarnell as its starting quarterback in the season finale at Duke Saturday.
After initially starting graduate transfer Phil Jurkovec and then Penn State sophomore transfer Christian Veilleux, Yarnell went 11-19 for 207 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers in the win over the Eagles.
“Sometimes as coaches, you are looking at the most talented guy,” Narduzzi said Monday. “Mentally, Nate is probably the most talented guy mentally. As I told you a year ago when we took him off the scout field (for the start against Western Michigan). He wasn’t sitting in a room being quiet and not paying attention and saying ‘oh my gosh, it’s my turn’. He was prepared. That’s who he is.”
“It didn’t shock me at all that Nate did what he did.”
Narduzzi noted while all of his quarterbacks can go through progressions, likely no one understands it as well as Yarnell. The challenge for him now is Duke has that whole game tape and the ability to pick apart his game. Narduzzi said now for Yarnell he can’t just have a performance like he had against Boston College, he must be better this week.
“He’s got to go out and do it all over again because no one cares what you did against BC,” Narduzzi said. “I think that’s the first thing. Let that last one go, and now focus on the next one. What do you have to do to win this game to be success as a quarterback and an offense.”
There is no doubt it’s Yarnell who has the reigns now. As Narduzzi put it, he’s running the show.
“He just needs to go out and do what he does,” Narduzzi said. “I think he’s that type of guy that will go out and do what he needs to do to win the game. He will be mentally and physically prepared.”
Narduzzi admitted this game can impact their offseason and decisions going forward. It’s a second opportunity for the quarterback no one thought would be starting this season to maybe go into next year as the favorite.