Pitt has a bye this week, but Todd Graham still joined the Big East teleconference on Monday, where he addressed his quarterback situation.
Graham came in plugging his ‘high-octane' offense from Tulsa, where he had one of the nation's top offenses. Instead, his first Pitt team has allowed the most sacks of any Division I team (33) and has a passing game that has struggled this year; completing just 9-of-30 passes for 50 yards with two interceptions in a 26-14 loss to Utah Saturday.
"We've had very inconsistent play at that position," Graham said. "We've had to make some decisions I wouldn't normally make. Throwing that all aside, we've not performed to where we need to be at."
For a second week in a row, Graham substituted freshman Trey Anderson for starter Tino Sunseri. Anderson entered the game for the final series of the first half, then came back out for both offensive series of the third quarter. In those first three series, Anderson was 3-for-8 for a total of 2 yards passing. Tino Sunseri returned to the game in the fourth quarter for two more series. In eight plays, Sunseri had an incompletion, was sacked twice and fumbled on that second sack, which was recovered by Utah at the Pitt 19.
Anderson then came one for the last three Pitt series on offense. He completed 1-of-9 passes in those final three series, with two interceptions.
Graham admitted that he has gone to Anderson—in both the Rutgers game from last week, and Saturday's Utah game—to give the offense a spark. He admits that it's not Anderson's fault, as much as it is his own fault for juggling the quarterbacks too much.
"Switching the quarterbacks in and out created more of a distraction than anything else," Graham said. "The idea was to get a spark. Trey is going to be a good quarterback in the future. His knowledge and understanding of the offense can't be where he can play every down. Then we said, ‘lets go to Tino' and that really hurt us.'"
Therefore, with Pitt's next game against UConn nine days away, Graham says Sunseri will remain his starting quarterback.
"Tino by far and away has the biggest grasp (of the offense), and we've got to get it out of him," Graham said. "I think the experience, the knowledge of what we're doing, the practice time makes Tino. We have to get it out of him. We're going to go with Tino."
One other thing Graham commented on was Chas Alecxih's post-game comments, where he called Utah offensive lineman John Cullen a ‘dirty player,' referring to a late hit in the fourth quarter that Cullen was penalized for. Graham said he has spoken with Alecxih about his comments.
"It was an inappropriate comment," Graham said. "He obviously regrets that comment. Guys get emotional. Chas is a very passionate player, but it's a comment that shouldn't have been made."