Bostick Takes A Big Step

Pat Bostick took a big step toward becoming Pitt's quarterback for the future this past week, and that's not just as far as his performance in a double-overtime loss to Navy Wednesday night was concerned.

Sure, Pat Bostick, the freshman who started the past two games for Pittsburgh, would have become a hero if he completed that fourth-down pass to tight end Darrell Strong to give the Panthers a win. However, Bostick played a solid game to that point and more importantly, during his initial appearance this season with media after the game, he had an even better performance.

Bostick didn't question his teammates or coaches, and he was quite frank in responding to every question. And if Pitt allows him to speak again this coming week, even more might be revealed about the young quarterback.

"There's no sense in pointing fingers at anything, because every week it's something different,'' Bostick said. "Other than the first two weeks, we've yet to put a complete game together. And that's everybody. We need to play a game where we can do everything well in all facets.

"All I did was get the ball to the guys that make plays. I just tried to get the ball to those guys to try to let them do something with it, and hopefully it turns into a win. It didn't, so it's disappointing and it hurts. But I thought I did all right. I was efficient, but we've got to do something better to win the game. I don't care what it is, because I just want to win.''

Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt and offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh didn't give Bostick much freedom in his previous appearances for the Panthers, so it was ironic that they put the game in his hands at the end against Navy. But Bostick didn't question the decision by any means.

"I trust our coaches, and that will never waiver,'' Bostick said. "I just wanted the play to be called. I looked at the wrist band and called it. It's not like I wasn't expecting it or anything like that.

"I felt pretty good out there, and I'm more comfortable now. I'm more comfortable with the guys around me and the offense and the game plan. I've put a lot of work in, too, so I'm more comfortable.''

Bostick's leadership qualities are not lost on his teammates, either.

"I think he had a good week in practice, and he played a pretty good game,'' fullback Conredge Collins said. "We just didn't make the plays at the end that we needed to make to win the game, and that's disappointing. But we played pretty well, overall, as an offense both running and throwing the football.

"Pat, there's a lot of things that he does that people don't see. He watches a lot of film, and he's doing an excellent job getting people going. If we mess up a play, he gets right back at it so we can do it over again to get it right. I think he's been doing a real great job as a freshman quarterback.''

Wannstedt weighed in on Bostick's performance as well.

"I thought that Pat Bostick played well,'' Wannstedt said. "LeSean McCoy played well, and a couple other young kids rose up and did everything that they could possibly do. It's not going to get any easier, but we've got to come back and go to work. It's full speed ahead.

"But I really thought Pat handled himself well. They brought a lot of pressure at him and gave him a lot of different looks, but I thought he made some good decisions, for the most part. He just had the one that he underthrew Oderick on. But the rest of it, I was very pleased with Pat, very pleased.''

This is the one point that Bostick differed with his coach.

"I just didn't put enough air under the pass to Oderick,'' Bostick said. "It really wasn't underthrown, so much, but I just didn't throw it up enough for him to adjust to it and make a play. We've worked on that a lot.

"I knew we were going to take the shot downfield, and with a guy that big I have to get it up there more. (But) I just look at each game as a learning experience, and ... we've still got six games to go. So, a lot can happen, and that's how I look at this season right now.''

And that future looks extremely bright for Bostick at Pitt.

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