The calendar has turned to May, and the clock continues to tick down for Pitt QB Tom Savage to take charge of the offense and become the clear starter for the Panthers. Due to his two transfers (Rutgers to Arizona and Arizona to Pittsburgh) this has become the final year of his college eligibility, and thus, his last chance to impress NFL scouts for the 2014 Draft.
"I want to win [the starting QB position] extremely badly," Savage revealed to Andrea Adelson of ESPN.com. "I'm going to work as hard as I can to compete and that's that. If the coach feels I'm the best option, that's what we'll do."
The problem for Savage is that he has not emerged as the clear number one quarterback thus far this spring. Accuracy and confusion have been evident during practice, which could potentially open the door for freshman QB Chad Voytik to ascend to the number one spot.
"Tom Savage appeared to be having some accuracy issues again today, and threw a couple of interceptions," according to Post-Gazette staff writer Sam Werner, "and [he] appeared to have some trouble making reads, especially on safeties."
While Pitt coach Paul Chryst insisted that it was by design, Savage saw very limited play in the annual Pittsburgh spring game, going just 6-of-11 for 80 yards during his brief game appearance. By comparison, Voytik opened the eyes of the coaching staff with a 27-of-33 performance, throwing for 358 yards.
Adding to the urgency for consistent quarterback play is the transfer of running back Rushel Shell, who averaged 4.5 yards per carry last season. Injuries to RB Malcolm Crockett and WR Demitrious Davis have further caused concern for this season's offense, which was already weakened due to the graduation of QB Tino Sunseri and RB Ray Graham.