Posted: 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013
The Pitt depth chart is essentially unchanged from last week's 58-55 win over Duke.
QB - Tom Savage, Chad Voytik
Tom Savage had a breakout performance against Duke last week. He torched the Blue Devils and made some pretty clutch throws. He ranks tenth in the nation in quarterback rating, while leading the ACC in touchdown passes.
RB - Isaac Bennett James Conner
Isaac Bennett remains the listed starter, but it is James Conner who has been the hot hand lately. Conner leads the team in attempts, yards, and touchdowns. Conner has been tremendous for a true freshman. Bennett is still a solid back, and will still get every opportunity available.
WR - Devin Street*, Tyler Boyd*, Kevin Weatherspoon, Ed Tinker
Pitt has a tremendous duo at receiver right now and it has been fun to watch. Devin Street's performance earned him ACC receiver of the week honors, while Tyler Boyd nailed down Freshman of the week. The big story from this unit on Saturday was the emergence of Kevin Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon made four catches for 58 yards, but none bigger than one on the third down late in the game that sealed the victory.
TE - JP Holtz*, Manasseh Garner*, Scott Orndoff, Jaymar Parrish
This unit remains extremely valuable to this team, and three of the four came up with a catch against Duke. Scott Orndoff reeled in a touchdown reception for the second consecutive week, and Holtz and Garner each came up with a first down catch. Parrish paved the way for Conner's touchdown in a fullback role. This unit is deep and versatile, and they keep getting better.
LT - Adam Bisnowaty, Juantez Hollins
LG - Cory King, Ryan Schlieper
C - Artie Rowell, Gabe Roberts
RG - Matt Rotheram, Shane Johnson
RT - TJ Clemmings, Dorian Johnson
This entire unit seems to keep getting better and better. There is no secret that the offense scoring nearly 60 points, and posting just under 600 yards can be traced back to the line's play. They allowed for Conner to have huge holes all game long, and he has not even had a negative rushing play in two straight games.
DE - David Durham*, Bryan Murphy*, Ejuan Price*, Shakir Soto, Devin Cook
Bryan Murphy is Pitt's best end, and him missing Saturday's game did not help matters. This unit is still undersized, and they need to add a better focus of containing and getting to the quarterback. Only five of the team's 23 tackles for loss have been recorded by an end.
DT - Aaron Donald, Darryl Render
Aaron Donald came up with two tackles for loss and a sack against Duke. Donald had another showing of why he is an absolute beast, on one of those tackles for loss he managed to tackle the quarterback and running back at the same time. No words.
NT - Tyrone Ezell, LaQuentin Smith
Ezell managed to come up with one solo tackle and four assisted tackles on Saturday against the Blue Devils.
SAM LB - Anthony Gonzalez, Nicholas Grigsby
Gonzalez came up with a massive pick six late in the game. He posted four solo tackles, and assisted on four more.
MLB - Shane Gordon, Matt Galambos
Gordon came up with a big interception late in the game following a Panther punt. He made two solo tackles, and assisted on five more.
WILL LB - Todd Thomas, Bam Bradley
Thomas made an outstanding play on a fake punt, and was not fooled one bit. The linebacker unit as a whole needs to play better, and they certainly have the personnel to do so. I do not expect Pitt to surrender 55 points many more times this season.
CB - K'waun Williams*, Lafayette Pitts*, Trenton Coles, Titus Howard
The secondary allowed some big plays, and this unit has to take some of the blame. Still, it was not all bad. K'waun Williams made a beautiful read and jumped a route for an interception. He also scored a big tackle for loss.
FS - Ray Vinopal, Cullen Christian, Jevonte Pitts
According to Twitter, Ray Vinopal was the only reason why Duke scored 55 points. Now let's be a little more realistic about that. Vinopal had a bad game, but an average pass rush and some poor coverage from the linebackers didn't help either. Vinopal still needs to make some better plays in coverage himself, or Pitt will have a few more shootout type scores. Christian was injured last week, so the question with his injury remains.
SS -Jason Hendricks, Terrish Webb
As I have been saying, the secondary as a whole did not play all that great. Hendricks goes about his business, and has had a solid year through the rest of the defensive struggles, though. He had his first interception of the season against the Blue Devils on a nice play.
Special Teams - K - Chris Blewitt, P - Matt Yoklic, LS - Kevin Barthelemy
Chris Blewitt (four years of these jokes?) did not have the best of games. He missed an extra point, and an easy field goal. Yoklic has been doing a nice job punting, and is averaging 46 yards per kick.
Returners - PR - Kevin Weatherspoon, KR - Tyler Boyd OR Lafayette Pitts
Weatherspoon seems to have good hands, and may hold down the job. He is not very explosive, though. The Pitts/Boyd debate seems to be out there, but it is a bit of a wash. Boyd is more explosive undoubtedly, but Pitts can make plays. Both players mean a lot to both sides of the ball, so I'm okay with a rotation.