Pitt vs. Cincinnati: Breaking Down the Two-Deep

After a game in which Pitt lost 3 players to season-ending injuries, the depth chart for Saturday night's game against the Bearcats is going to be a little different. The big question this week is whether lineman Lucas Nix is back for this game. Pitt really needs him to be healthy to have a shot.

QB: Tino Sunseri, Mark Myers, Trey Anderson

Reaction: Can Tino build off of his performance against UConn? He has to in order for Pitt to win this week. I'm not saying that Zach Brown can't be an every down back or won't have as big an impact as Ray might have. But right now, we're not sure. What we do know is that Tino has to have a good game.

RB: Zach Brown, Isaac Bennett, Corey Davis

Reaction: How much of an impact player will Brown be? This will be his first collegiate start, so let's see how he handles the pressure. The other question going around was which freshman would be burning their redshirt with the loss of Ray and it appears that Bennett will be that person.

FB: Mark Giubilato, Khaynin Mosley-Smith

Reaction: No change from last week

HB: Hubie Graham, Anthony Gonzalez

Reaction: No change from last week

TE: Hubie Graham, Brendan Carozzoni

Reaction: No change from last week

X-Receiver: Devin Street, Drew Carswell

Y-Receiver: Mike Shanahan, Ed Tinker

Z-Receiver: Ronald Jones, Darius Patton

Reaction: With the injury to Saddler and previous injury to backup Salath Williams, the depth chart at the receiver spot changed a bit. Carswell, who has been playing well recently, has made his way to the two-deep spot at receiver. Jones, who has been the best freshman on offense, earned his way onto the starting lineup.

LT: Greg Gaskins, Lucas Nix

LG: Ryan Schlieper OR Juantez Hollins

C: Ryan Turnley, Greg Gaskins, Ryan Schlieper

RG: Lucas Nix, Cory King

RT: Jordan Gibbs, Greg Gaskins

Reaction: It's always surprising to see the O-line depth chart each week and see how much it changed. With the injury to Rotheram, we again have some shifting. Todd Graham said that Gaskins had arguably his best performance against UConn (were we all watching the same game? It's not saying much). The big question is will Lucas Nix finally return to the field. Coaches have been saying that Nix had a good week of practice, so we will see. Of course, they said the same thing last week and Lucas didn't play.

DE: Brandon Lindsey OR Aaron Donald, Justin Hargrove

Reaction: I can't say enough about Donald's great play over the past two games. He has had five sacks in those two games and leads the team with seven.

DT: Chas Alecxih, Khaynin Mosley-Smith, Tyrone Ezell

Reaction: Alecxih had a good game last week, picking up six total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Is it just me, or has K.K. been very quiet since the beginning of the season?

NT: Myles Caragein OR Aaron Donald, Khaynin Mosley-Smith

Reaction: Welcome, Myles Caragein, to the sack column. Caragein finally recorded a sack this season (although he shared it with Todd Thomas, but it's better than nothing).

Panther Linebacker: Greg Williams OR Juan Price, LaQuentin Smith

Reaction: A bit of a change, as Joe Trebitz is no longer listed at the Panther LB position. In his place is Smith. A little surprised that Price did not play at all last week against Connecticut, but coaches have said that due to the return of Todd Thomas and the improved play of Greg Williams, Price has seen his playing time decrease.

Spur Linebacker: Todd Thomas, Carl Fleming

Reaction: Thomas returned to play this week and he had a good performance, registering six tackles and helped Caragein with a sack.

SAM Linebacker: Tristan Roberts, Shane Gordon, Nicholas Grigsby

Reaction: No change from last week. The linebackers played fairly well last week against Connecticut, but they will really need to be on their game to slow down the Cincinnati offense.

WILL Linebacker: Max Gruder, Tristan Roberts

Reaction: No change from last week

CB: Antwuan Reed AND K'Waun Williams, Buddy Jackson, Saheed Imoru, Lloyd Carrington

Reaction: Other than the first UConn TD where the Kashif Moore was left WIDE OPEN, the secondary had a pretty effective day shutting down the Huskies' passing attack. Of course, it helps that UConn hasn't had great QB play, either. Like the linebackers, the secondary will have to be playing well to keep the Cincinnati passing game in check.

Bandit Safety: Andrew Taglianetti, Brandon Ifill

Reaction: Taglianetti got the start last week after Jason Hendricks went down with an injury against Utah and had an overall good showing, recording five tackles.

Free Safety: Jarred Holley, Andrew Taglianetti, Brandon Ifill

Reaction: Holley led the team in tackles last week with nine and continues to be the backbone of this secondary. 

Special Teams: Kevin Harper (K), Matt Yoklic (P and holder), Kevin Barthelemy (LS), Buddy Jackson (KR), Ronald Jones (PR)

Reaction: Finally, the backup QB is no longer the punter! With the injury to Saddler, Mike Shanahan will be the backup punt returner.

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