Pitt Football: Paul Chryst Tabs Tino Sunseri Starting Quarterback


To the surprise of absolutely no one, new Pitt head coach Paul Chryst is sticking with veteran Tino Sunseri as the team’s starting quarterback going into fall practice.

Chryst said Tuesday during the ACC spring meetings, “He was the best quarterback we had out of spring. That’s why he’s the starter.”

After a brutal 2011 season in which he never really grasped the “low-octane” offense of former head coach Todd Graham, Sunseri gets a fresh start in 2012 under his third offense in as many years.

Sunseri threw for 2,616 yards and only 10 touchdowns in 2011, and also threw 11 interceptions while getting sacked an NCAA-leading 61 times. Despite the lack of production, there really wasn’t much competition for the job this spring, as Sunseri’s only competition was Mark Myers and Trey Anderson.

The move by Chryst is the right one.

A first-year head coach needs a veteran signal-caller, and while Sunseri will never be confused with a Heisman Trophy contender, he did show some ability in 2010 by throwing 16 touchdowns to only nine interceptions under former coach Dave Wannstedt.

Sunseri was not a good fit for Graham’s spread attack, but his primary problem through two years as a starter has been overall inconsistent play.

He can make a couple of good throws on one drive, then leave you scratching your head the next.

Pitt fans may not be happy seeing Sunseri under center for a third-straight season, but given the current roster he’s the only real option Chryst has.

That could change when heralded freshman Chad Voytik arrives for fall practice, and it will be interesting to see how much Voytik is worked in initially as Chryst has yet to name a backup.

The chance of Voytik being named the starter for the opener is slim, but if the freshman has a good camp it wouldn’t surprise me to see him worked in early.

As for now though, it’s another year of Sunseri under center for the Panthers. Hopefully for their sake he can bounce back and be a somewhat productive quarterback.

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