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Pitt Names Savage as Starting QB, Florida State Loses Another WR

Looking for the third time as a charm, fifth-year senior quarterback Tom Savage has won the starting role at Pitt after sitting out for a transfer season in 2012.

Tom Savage

Tom Savage

It’s been interesting ride for Savage as he started his NCAA career at Rutgers in 2009. After being named as a Freshman All-American, he started the following season but hit a sophomore slump: Savage lasted only four games before losing his starting role to freshman, Chas Dodd.

This came from his injuries and well, poor play.

Next up in January 2011 was a transfer to the University of Arizona. This was still the passing Mike Stoops era but once Rich Rodriguez came to town in November 2011, Savage said not so fast to his spread offense and looked for program No. 3.

According to NBC Sports, he toyed with a Rutgers return but the NCAA denied his hardship waiver that would have given him immediate eligibility. He then landed at Pitt in June 2012 and sat out last season.

Savage, 23, shook off the rust for the team’s spring game and narrowly beat the freshman redshirt Chad Voytik for this year’s starting role.

So why Savage? Pitt coach Paul Chryst said via the PittsburghTrib Live, “I feel really good and confident in Tom and really like the direction Chad is going. Right now, (Savage) gives us the best chance for our team to win.”

Chryst is also hoping Savage can get back to his 2009 form when he had 2,211 passing yards with 14 touchdowns. The quarterback is trying to build chemistry with his wide receivers and this year the team will have a new slate of competition as they enter the ACC Coastal division.

This could be a challenging season with Vegas giving the Panthers 5 1/2 regular season wins (-165 o/+135 u).

Pitt’s welcome to the ACC moment will come against Florida St on September 2.

While Pitt had good news to share on Wednesday, Florida State announced its wide receiver depth chart took another hit as Jarred “Scooter’ Haggins is “likely” to miss the regular season due to the stress fracture found in his knee, reported CBS Sports.

Jarred "Scooter" Haggins

Jarred “Scooter” Haggins

Haggins is used to sitting on the sidelines as he was out for part of 2011 with a broken hand. As a 2012 back up, he played in 13 games and caught eight passes with a career-high 108 yards.

He’s yet to really get his Florida State career going but it is still young. He does still have a redshirt season and he can return to play next season.

The regular season hasn’t started yet but the Seminoles are already behind as they’ve lost some additional wide receiving talent earlier in the month. Receiver Willie Haulstead will miss the season due to academic ineligibility and Greg Dent is out with an indefinite suspension after a sexual assault arrest.

So who’s left for Florida State?

The team still has its 2012 lead receivers, All-Conference Rashad Greene and Kenny Shaw as well as Kelvin Benjamin but the depth behind them is slim. Wide receiver Marvin Bracy has left the school for a career in professional track and the team’s tight ends are thin as Christo Kourtzidis has transferred and Kevin Haplea and Jeremy Kerr are both out for the season thanks to injuries.

The team does still have tight end Nick O’Leary.

Freshmen will pick up the slack and this includes the true freshmen Isaiah Jones, Levonte “Kermit” Whitfield and Jesus Wilson, according to OrlandoSentinel.com.

Florida State does enter the preseason with expectations. USA Today has the team as No. 12 while Sports Illustrated has a No. 13 ranking.

And Vegas has them at 20/1 to win the 2013/2014 BCS National Championship.


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