The much anticipated quarterback competition that was supposed to take place during camp for the Pitt Panthers didn’t turn into much of a competition after all.
Tom Savage has been named the starting quarterback for the 2013 season, Pitt head coach Paul Chryst told reporters after practice Wednesday.
Savage, who is in his final season of eligibility after transferring twice, beat out redshirt freshman Chad Voytik for the job and will be under center when the Panthers kickoff their inaugural ACC season on Labor Day when Florida State visits Heinz Field.
“Tom is going to be our starting quarterback,” Chryst told reporters. “We like what he’s done to this point. It’s a reflection of where Tom’s at. I still think Chad is making really good progress, but I feel really good and confident with Tom and certainly like the direction Chad is going.”
The job was really Savage’s to lose and he did nothing but make it an easy decision for Chryst, who naturally would rather have a veteran under center.
Savage started his career at Rutgers in 2009 but transferred to Arizona in 2011. He then transferred to Pitt after one year and has sat out each of the past two seasons because of NCAA transfer rules.
As a true freshman at Rutgers, Savage completed 149 of 285 passes (52 percent) for 2,211 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Savage takes over for the widely ridiculed Tino Sunseri, so he doesn’t exactly have big shoes to fill. However he must play like a veteran and not make the same mistakes that Sunseri made throughout three years as a starter. If he does, it may not be long before Chryst has to turn to the freshman Voytik, something many Pitt fans would like to see happen sooner rather than later.
But it’s probably good for the development of Voytik to get to sit and learn from Savage for a bit. The quarterback situation has been a problem for the Panthers for quite some time now. Hopefully Savage can perform up to expectations for this season.
Did Chryst make the right decision? On paper it appears that way, but we will know for sure beginning on Labor Day.