This is an overview of the QB roster players we have at this time. I will follow this with an in-depth look at our new transfer QB Ricky Town in a week or so. His back story is rather fascinating.
Here are the two-deep listings for the opener against YSU (on left) and then the last game against Miami (on right).
As in any year our fans’ eye turn directly to the QB position as a first response when we ask the question “How good will the Panthers be this season?” For the first time since the 2016 season the other question “Who will be the starter at QB?” has already been answered – it will be SO Kenny Pickett.
That second question really should have been asked at this time last season also, but
when head coach Pat Narduzzi brought in transfer QB Max Browne from USC it was assumed that he was the player who would take the reins and that is what happened. The problem with that however was the doubt brought forward toward the end of last year’s fall camp when rsSO Ben DiNucci began to outplay Browne.
Narduzzi wasn’t going to sit down the player he handpicked and trumpeted to be the starter so that is how that played out – until Browne went down with a season ending shoulder injury in the 3rd quarter of the Syracuse game and DiNucci was the next man up. Looking up exactly when Browne went down I ran across this gem from the post-loss coverage:
Pitt didn’t record its first third-down conversion until midway through the fourth quarter and finished 3 of 13.
“When you come in at halftime and see the opposing team has not converted a third down, that’s absolutely amazing,” Babers said.
Suffice to say neither of Pitt’s two ‘best’ QBs distinguished themselves out on the field.
Browne had one decent game against the Rice Owls, who finished 1-11 and had one of the worst pass defenses in D1 football (although not as bad as our 105th ranked pass defense which is hard to type). Other than that singular game Browne threw exactly one TD pass in regulation for the rest of his season. DiNucci didn’t fare much better either as he ended up with only 1,091 yards on 88 of 158 passing with 5 TDs and 5 INTs. His QB efficiency rating was a dismal 117.9.
Overall our total passing game was poor and ranked 73rd because of this: 224 of 362 for 2,612 yards with 12 TDs and 8 INTs for an efficiency rating of only 129.01 and that is with those four TDs passes against Rice in that one game. Subtract that game and we were 196 of 330 (59%) for 2,202 yards, 8 TDs and 8 INts for a rating of only 118.8.
Here are the total passing stats for the Panthers in ’17: