Pitt names QB Chad Voytik starter for opener

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Chad Voytik will be the starting quarterback for Pitt when opens the season on Aug. 30 against Delaware.

Coach Paul Chryst officially announced Voytik as the starter on Thursday after watching Voytik separate himself from Trey Anderson during the two-plus weeks of training camp.

Voytik took all the snaps with the first string during camp, and his preparation impressed Chryst.

“I think he’s proud, and he should be, of the work he’s done,” Chryst said of Voytik.

The sophomore played in three games for Pitt last fall, including the entire second half in a 30-27 victory over Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. He appeared to have the job locked down after a solid spring, but Chryst wanted to get a fuller picture of Voytik’s development before making a final decision.

“It feels good,” Voytik said. “I have been getting the (first-team) reps, but being named is an honor and I am just so excited to play in nine days.”

Through his first training camp taking snaps with the first team, Voytik said his timing was the most improved aspect of his game.

“That comes with learning the offense,” Voytik said. “I think staying in my rhythm and knowing when to escape, those are really things that I have improved on and now I can be a pocket passer and still get out of the pocket when I need to.”

Voytik will rely on the playmaking ability of sophomore wideout Tyler Boyd and sophomore tailback James Conner. The 6-foot Voytik gives the Panthers an added dimension with his mobility, and his size has drawn inevitable comparisons to Russell Wilson, who starred in one season at Wisconsin in 2011 while Chryst served as the Badgers’ offensive coordinator.

Voytik admits Wilson is a special athlete. At the moment, the sophomore is more worried about getting ready for the Blue Hens, which is the way Chryst prefers it.

“I don’t think (Voytik) feels like he’s arrived or anything like that,” Chryst said. “That’s what I like about it. He keeps working.”