Pitt vs. North Carolina: Breaking Down the Two Deep

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt is coming off their biggest win all season, can they keep it rolling?

Pitt received an all around good effort from the whole team in their win over Notre Dame. Pitt was able to move the ball on offense, and make tons of big plays on defense. Hopefully some guys can keep it going into this week against North Carolina.

QB - Tom Savage, Chad Voytik

Tom Savage played a marvelous game against the Irish and I'm sure it had to feel pretty good (well, aside from the head shot from Stephon Tuitt) because of the journey that has brought him here. Savage made a lot of big throws and did not throw an interceptions against the Irish. He made the right reads and avoided pressure fairly well. Pitt needs Savage to play like that this week against the Tar Heels.


RB - Isaac Bennett, James Conner

While neither back went over the 60-yard mark against the Irish, they still had productive games. The Pitt running game was not good but it had to be accounted for by Notre Dame. Bennett made some nice runs in open space, while Conner bruised past the Irish for two big touchdowns, including the game winner. Both players need to just continue to hit the holes and fall for positive yardage. Personally, I would like to see more Conner than we did last week.

WR - Devin Street* Tyler Boyd* Ed Tinker Kevin Weatherspoon

You really cannot say enough about the two starting receivers this season. Despite the offensive line troubles, both guys can still make runs at 1,000 yard seasons with three (maybe four) games left. Boyd continues to be a nice underneath player for Savage, but it would be nice for him to stretch the field a bit more. Street came up with two highlight reel touchdowns, and his draft stock has to be on the rise. After it looked like Weatherspoon would make more of an impact, he has just one catch in the past four games.

TE - JP Holtz* Manasseh Garner* Scott Orndoff Jaymar Parrish

JP Holtz has found his way into the offense more in recent weeks, but did drop a pass in the Notre Dame game, but nearly scored a touchdown later in the game before being dragged down at the one inch line. Garner continues to be a consistent player in the offense, as he seemingly has 2-3 catches in every game. Orndoff caught two passes, and Parrish one against the Irish. While they continue to list Parrish as a tight end, he is undoubtedly the team's fullback. He has been great at blocking this season.

LT - Adam Bisnowaty Juantez Hollins

LG - Cory King OR Ryan Schlieper

C - Artie Rowell Shane Johnson

RG - Matt Rotheram Shane Johnson

RT - TJ Clemmings Dorian Johnson

The offensive line did a nice job on Saturday against the Irish. Savage did not take a lot of hits, and the offense was able to have balance for a change. Pitt scored two rushing and two passing touchdowns on their way to a 28-21 victory. The key to this offense is the ability to do both, and for the first time in over a month, Pitt was able to do that.

DE - David Durham* Bryan Murphy* Shakir Soto Jack Lippert

The ends did not have an overly productive game against the Irish. It was nice to see Shakir Soto make one play, and get into the act a bit. Murphy has finally lived up to his four star billing this season and has helped take some pressure away from #97.

DT - Aaron Donald Darryl Render

Aaron Donald was bottled up from mostly double and triple teams (and holding) against Notre Dame, so nothing new there. He is still a threat and still more than likely the best interior lineman in the country. All bias aside, Donald is that good.

NT - Tyrone Ezell LaQuentin Smith

Ezell remains a steady force in taking up space on the defensive front. Still, you would like to see a few more results with all the attention Donald is receiving.

SAM OLB - Anthony Gonzalez Bam Bradley

Anthony Gonzalez came up with the big play to break up the pass to end the game last week. Gonzalez has had an up and down season, but it was encouraging to see him come up with a play in coverage, one of his struggles early on this season.

MLB - Shane Gordon Matt Galambos

Shane Gordon had a productive game, and Pitt is better off when he is healthy. There is a noticeable difference between Gordon and Galambos at this time, and that should be expected when comparing a senior to a freshman.

WILL LB - Todd Thomas Nicholas Grigsby

Thomas remains the starter this week, and played most of the game against the Irish. It will be important for him to have a big game against UNC going up against a mobile quarterback.

CB - Lafayette Pitts* K'waun Williams* Trenton Coles Titus Howard

The corners had their moments, and had some blunders. Still, they have seemingly played better in recent weeks. Trenton Coles had a long injury delay after a hit in the head/neck region, so that is something that should be monitored.

FS - Ray Vinopal Ryan Lewis

Pitt does not win the game without Ray Vinopal. Period. Vinopal has been a scapegoat all season long, but has a knack for making big plays. The interceptions were huge, but the stripping of the football inside the ten may be his biggest play of the game.

SS - Jason Hendricks Terrish Webb

Hendricks had an all around good game, and he remains one of Pitt's more sure things. I think Hendricks is getting to the point where he may be putting himself into a position of getting drafted in April.

Special Teams: K - Chris Blewitt. P - Matt Yoklic. LS - David Murphy

The special teams unit remains the same once again.

Returners: PR - Kevin Weatherspoon KR - Tyler Boyd/Lafayette Pitts

Lafayette Pitts had a big return that gave Pitt great field position near midfield.

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