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September 2, 2007

Stull to have surgery

One day after making his first career start, Pitt junior quarterback Bill Stull will undergo surgery on right thumb on Sunday. The surgery is a result of an injury suffered during the Panthers' season opener against Eastern Michigan on Saturday night.

Stull will be out for an indefinite period following the surgery, according to an official statement.

"We feel very disappointed for Billy," head coach Dave Wannstedt said. "He worked incredibly hard during the offseason to earn the starting job and those efforts showed in his strong play last night.

"Knowing Billy, he will be very diligent in his rehabilitation and be back as soon as possible."

Stull previously suffered an injury on the same thumb when, in training camp, he cut it during a collision with a teammate's helmet.

Stull did not return to the game after injuring his thumb late in the third quarter. In his absence, Kevan Smith, a redshirt freshman, led the team, mostly orchestrating running plays while completing 2-of-4 passes for 18 yards in his first collegiate playing time.

"I thought Kevan Smith came in and did what was necessary to win the game," Wannstedt said Saturday night. "If he has to start, he'll be ready."

Up until the injury Stull had been efficient, completing 14-of-20 passes for 177 yards and a 21-yard touchdown in the Panthers' 27-3 victory.

"I thought Billy played very well before he got hurt," Wannstedt said. "He managed the game well and he gave the guys around him a chance to make some plays. He didn't miss many throws."

Pitt hosts Grambling State this Saturday at noon. Wannstedt said that the coming week will be spent determining who is the best option to start that game.

"We will work this week to get Kevan Smith and Pat Bostick ready to play against Grambling. Their performances at practice this week will determine our starter for Saturday."

Bostick, a true freshman, did not appear in the Eastern Michigan game.






Chris Peak can be contacted at chrispeak1@comcast.net.


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