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Pitt QB out indefinitely

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Pitt QB out indefinitely


Monday September 03, 2007, 1:58 PM

PITTSBURGH -- Pitt quarterback Bill Stull is out indefinitely after needing surgery Sunday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb that occurred during his first college start.

The injury is similar to that sustained a year ago by Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm, who missed two games after being hurt during a Sept. 16 game against Miami.

Stull's thumb was bent backward while being tackled by Eastern Michigan's Darren Matthews during the third quarter of Pitt's 24-3 victory on Saturday night. Stull left the game after fumbling a pitch to running back LaRod Stephens-Howling on the next play.

Stull injured the same thumb Aug. 10 in practice, cut when his right hand struck a teammate's helmet. That injury required five stitches, but Stull missed only one practice.

Before being hurt Saturday, Stull was 14-of-20 for 177 yards and a 21-yard touchdown to Oderick Turner in his first extensive college playing time. He threw only 10 passes a year ago as a seldom-used backup to three-year starter Tyler Palko.

Stull's injury seems certain to sideline him for games Saturday against Grambling, Sept. 15 at Michigan State and possibly longer. It also creates the possibility that coach Dave Wannstedt may decide to play freshman Pat Bostick immediately, rather than red-shirting him as planned.

"We will work this week to get Kevan Smith and Pat Bostick ready to play against Grambling," Wannstedt said Sunday, after Stull underwent tests that revealed the injury. "Their performances at practice will determine our starter for Saturday."

Bostick, who missed the first week of Pitt camp after leaving campus unexpectedly for personal reasons, is considered to be more talented than Smith.

Smith, a redshirt freshman, was 2-of-4 for 18 yards Saturday after replacing Stull. He is convinced he can handle the job with Stull out.

"I have confidence in myself and I think the other guys believe in me 110 percent," said Smith, who played at Seneca Valley High near Pittsburgh. "If I have to start next week, I'm ready."

Stull, a junior from Pittsburgh, was hurt after getting off to a strong start by hitting his first seven pass attempts. He is not considered to be as strong a playmaker as Palko was, but Wannstedt likes how Stull runs the team and makes minimal mistakes during practice.

"We feel very disappointed for Billy," Wannstedt said. "He worked incredibly hard during the offseason to earn the starting job and those efforts showed in his strong play. Knowing Billy, he will be very diligent in his rehabilitation and will be back as soon as possible."

Pitt did not commit a turnover in its season-opening game, and Wannstedt said Stull was largely responsible for that.

"He played really well before he got hurt," Wannstedt said. "He managed the game well, he gave our guys a chance to make some plays and he didn't miss too many throws."

Factoring into Wannstedt's quarterback decision could be whether he believes he can count on Bostick so early in his career, and after an unsettling start.

Bostick's absence from camp was never fully explained by Pitt, and few quarterbacks can adjust to the complexities of college football only a year after they were playing high school football.

During camp, Wannstedt said he was proceeding "one day at a time" with Bostick while easing him into college football. Bostick was on campus nearly all summer, so he spent considerable time with his teammates before leaving for a week.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Bostick passed for 2,172 yards and 20 touchdowns last season at Manheim Township High in Lancaster after having 2,810 yards and 34 touchdowns as a junior. He made second team Class AAAA all-state both seasons.


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except that we knew we had grothe and that should have been good, and the only reason Pat was still starting was that he was a senior incumbent.

Pitt chose this guy after losing their incumbent starter. 

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"and the only reason Pat was still starting was that he was a senior incumbent"

Except for the senior part I hope They don't feel the same way about Williams vs Ford.

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bye bye wanny

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