NCAA

Column: Quarterback Controversy? I Don’t Think So

Pitt was manhandled in the first half of the OSU football game because of big plays, mistakes, penalties, Penalties not called, and a lack of offensive.  The lack of offense falls solely at the feet of Max Browne both directly and indirectly during those first 4 possessions.   That is when the game was lost.

First off, I say both directly or indirectly because the offense is limited with Browne in the game.  He has no mobility so the roll outs are non factor.  He lacks pocket awareness and because of that he turns into a liability behind center.   His guys drop passes in big situations and do not make plays which is what a leader needs and asks from the players around them.

Not sure if that is a reflection of his leadership or the talent, but this is the same talent they had last season.  These guys have all made plays before.

Coming into the game, Pitt was figuring Max’s arm would give them an opportunity to win games.  His arm is stronger than DiNucci’s, but his release is slower and he has no real ability to move in or out of the pocket.  This offense requires a quarterback to be mobile.   He just is not that kind of player.

DiNucci came in when the game was pretty much out of reach and he provided a spark by getting the Panthers on the board with a drive of 87 yards in 1:57 seconds.  It was highlighted by a 74 yard pass to Henderson.  It was a swing pass that turned into a sprint.  That is where it was obvious that Henderson is not playing at 100%.

From that point on, I think it was clear that this is Ben DiNucci’s team.   Although Ben was not perfect from that point on, he clearly has better pocket awareness than Browne does and it showed throughout the remainder of the game as he created opportunities and was able to guide Pitt to 21 points and had them inside OSU territory several other times.

Max Browne won the job before the season started and was named a captain.  In game 1 against YSU, he was asked to do very little and that is exactly what he did.  In game 2 against Penn State, drops and interceptions riddled his game.   He would later lose his helmet  and then go out of the game briefly.  DiNucci came in and scored a TD and a 2-point conversion.

Max would re-enter the game only to throw a screen in the endzone that resulted in a Safety that officially ended the game.  DiNucci would then take the Panthers down the field at the end of the game, only to stall out down by the goal line.

Browne entered the game today and just did not make enough plays in order to keep his job.  He was sacked a couple of times  because of his overall lack of mobility.

If you look at their stats, they were in fact very similar, but if you look at the productivity its clear who is the more effective quarterback.

The cons against DiNucci is the arm strength and it is clear he is not a guy that is going to toss the ball around the yard.  But his ability to be mobile will keep he and his team in games and limit these early game deficits.

Last year, the Panthers offense was successful because Peterman was a threat to run and put the ball where his guys could make plays.  With Browne in the game, there is no threat. All a defense has to do is pin their ears back and go.  DiNucci has the ability to run and throw and this team needs that right now.

He may not be the better quarterback, but he is in fact the guy that gives them a chance to win each and every game moving forward.

Narduzzi Quotes: When Coach Narduzzi was asked about the quarterback situation after the game, he said “We have a decision to make for sure.”  He did not make any announcements.   But he did say that “Max was not very productive.”  “DiNucci came in and gave us some spark.”  Made a reference “We do not have Fran Tarkenton back there right now.” He did say that there are things that Ben can not do. “They don’t have a great quarterback…right now.”

 

 

 

 

 

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