Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Spring Camp Cleared Up Some Issues, Clouded Others

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Spring Camp Cleared Up Some Issues, Clouded Others

Article excerpt

Pat Narduzzi doesn't know who T-Pain is, but we also learned plenty more than that through Pitt football's 15 spring practices, the last of which was seen by the most hardcore of fans Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field in the final intrasquad scrimmage

A few issues were cleared up while others linger:

1. The gap between Kenny Pickett and the other quarterbacks is wide. It's going to take a lot to unseat someone who just started every game of his sophomore year. Pickett looked sharper than Jeff George Jr., Nick Patti and Davis Beville in the spring game, which matches the general tenor of how his play was described starting in March, when new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple confirmed he's the starter.

2. The receivers might be even

2. The receivers might be even more versatile and productive than we thought. Maurice Ffrench and Taysir Mack entered the spring as prime candidates to be key cogs this season, but the emergence of Tipton adds even more projected firepower to a group with much to prove. Tipton himself, a 6-foot, 190-pound redshirt senior, has never become a consistent piece on offense, making just five catches for 42 yards in 2018 after losing his third year to injury. But showing chemistry with Pickett for the Blue team, Tipton validated the praise heaped on him - and the passing game as a whole - by getting loose for three receptions, 43 yards and the two scores.

3. An inexperienced offensive line has a long way to go and is far from set. The earlier a team can set its starting five up front, the better. But for as much as it helps to build that chemistry as quickly as possible, a likely starter isn't even on campus yet in Michigan graduate transfer Nolan Ulizio. That puts the competition at tackle in something of a holding pattern, though redshirt sophomore Carter Warren was named one of the most improved players of spring for his work breaking into the first team at left tackle. …

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