Players Forced Into Duty With Juantez Hollins Suspension

Juantez Hollins' suspension puts Pitt in a bind (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Mark Myers' departure from Pitt's football program is the move on Friday that will cause the most noise among fans, but the bigger impact issue (by far) is Juantez Hollins' suspension.

Pitt lost a player on the thin offensive line who was virtually assured of starting. Without him, some other players will be forced into duty with little experience.

The Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise took a look at the likely candidates:

There just aren't enough tackles on this roster - the alternatives are a junior college transfer who I think was at least initially a walk-on and has yet to show much consistency in Zenel Demhasaj, Tom Ricketts, a North Allegheny graduate who transferred from Penn State and is, at least right now, considering a bit of a project, Justin Virbitsky, a converted tight end and Adam Bisnowaty, an incoming freshman from Fox Chapel.

Matt Rotheram is, at this point, anyway, looking like one of the two starters at tackle. But somewhere in there, Pitt's got to find a starter. And not only a starter, but two backups.

The other option, though, is to convert someone to tackle. Someone like Ryan Schlieper could be a candidate, but that just reduces the depth at guard. In other words, Pitt is really in a bind. The best hope for the team at this point is that players have gotten better since last season. That will almost assuredly be the case, but the only question is, how much better will they be?

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt football and basketball.

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