The Pitt Panthers took the practice field in El Paso, Texas yesterday, getting ready to play UCLA on Friday in the Sun Bowl. Coach Pat Narduzzi said it was a good workout. For the second straight year, quarterback Nick Patti gets his first start of the season in a bowl game. Last year against Michigan State in the Peach Bowl, Patti broke his collarbone scoring a touchdown in the first quarter.
Narduzzi says Patti is the ideal man for the job. Patti gets the start because former starter Kedon Slovis has transferred to Brigham Young. He says getting ready for a bowl game is different than preparing for a regular season game. Patti says he’s very familiar with UCLA. Coach Narduzzi saluted the University of Texas El Paso basketball coach Joe Golding for picking up three Pitt players who arrived late at the airport because of flight delays or cancellations.
As the players were attempting to rent a car, Golding happened upon them and drove them straight to the practice field. Narduzzi says he does not even know Golding personally, but said it was a very impressive sign of the hospitality the Panthers have received in El Paso. COLLEGE FOOTBALL In the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit yesterday, New Mexico State topped Bowling Green, 24-19. There are four bowl games on the schedule today, starting with a noon kickoff between Georgia Southern and Buffalo in the Camelia Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama.
That’s followed at 3:15 by the First Responders Bowl in Dallas, featuring Memphis against Utah State. At 6:45 tonight, Coastal Carolina plays East Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl in Alabama, and at 10:15, Wisconsin and Oklahoma State match up in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl in Phoenix, Arizona.