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September 30, 2013

Savage expected to be ready

Pitt quarterback Tom Savage is expected to be ready for the Panthers' Oct. 12 game at Virginia Tech, the University said in an official press release issued Monday.

Savage left Pitt's 14-3 win over Virginia on Saturday in the fourth quarter after displaying concussion-like symptoms. He took what appeared to be a hit to the head as he slid on the next-to-last play of the third quarter. Head coach Paul Chryst said after the game that the hit was of the variety that the NCAA is trying to eliminate, but no flag was thrown on the play.

"He was a little dazed and confused," redshirt senior receiver Devin Street said after the game. "I think it was a bad call; it was unnecessary."

"I think they should have thrown a flag on it," freshman receiver Tyler Boyd agreed. "I guess they didn't."

After that hit, Savage stayed in for two more series. He played a total of eight snaps in those two series and was sacked twice and hit a third time while throwing. Street said that Savage didn't want to come out of the game, but the coaches and trainers made the decision to go with redshirt freshman Chad Voytik for the Panthers' final offensive drive.

"He was a warrior; he was trying to stay in there, but we need him for the rest of the season," Street said. "He saw the big picture, and Chad did a good job of going in there and sealing the deal."

Voytik handed the ball off five times and ran once on his six snaps, but the offense ate up three minutes and 13 seconds to ensure the win for Pitt, which improved to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the ACC.

According to the official release, Savage "has only shown mild symptoms and continues to make progress on a daily basis."

In his first year as Pitt's starting quarterback, Savage - who transferred to Pitt from Rutgers by way of Arizona - has completed 58.7% of his passes for 1,052 yards, 10 touchdowns and six interceptions through four games. He ranks second in the ACC in yards per completion, third in passing touchdowns, passing yards and passing yards per game, and fourth in pass efficiency.

"He wanted to be out there, for sure," Street said after the game. "He was a warrior. He found his helmet and wanted to be in there, but I kind of talked to him and told him about the big picture. It's not right now; we're going to need you for the rest of the season."

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