Former Pitt quarterback John Congemi, a college football analyst for ESPN, said he likes how the Panthers’ offense is developing under the direction of senior quarterback Tom Savage.
“I didn’t think they had the talent to stay with Florida State for four quarters, but I was glad to see they picked an identity and tried to stick with it,” he said. “I think (Savage) is really going to help this team grow up faster than it would with a guy who isn’t as seasoned. They have a pretty good idea of what he does well and what he likes to do. When you have that, you can fit the offense around him.
“I just hope the defense can hold up. They are not real big.” Congemi, who is working the Marshall/Virginia Tech game Saturday in Blacksburg, Va., for ESPNU, has a long history of working in television. He has served as an analyst for ESPNU games since 2005 and worked for the Big East Network from 2000-2011.
He also is part of ESPN history — as a player. Congemi was Pitt’s quarterback for the 1984 opener against Brigham Young at Pitt Stadium, which was the first live telecast of a regular-season college football game on ESPN.
Among the more notable TV games Congemi remembers prior to ’84 was the Pitt/Penn State 24-24 tie in 1983. It was shown on tape delay with Bill Hillgrove and former Pitt All-American linebacker Sal Sunseri (now an assistant at Florida State) calling the action. Congemi also said Brent Musburger worked the ’83 West Virginia game for CBS.
Congemi is proud to be part of ESPN’s past and present.
“If we knew what ESPN was going to become, we would have been that much more excited,” he said.
Congemi played quarterback for Pitt from 1983-1986, and is sixth on Pitt’s all-time passing yardage list (6,467).