Pitt vs. New Mexico: Breaking down the two deep

Justin K. Aller

A quick look at Pitt's starters for the New Mexico game

Paul Chryst made very few changes to the two deep depth chart for game two. They escaped week one with no significant injuries, so just a little tinkering was made.

Let's take a gander at how it looks on paper.

QB - Tom Savage, Chad Voytik

Tom Savage remains the starter. He engineered an impressive opening drive, and displayed his strong arm on some deep balls. It was not all pretty for Savage, though. He threw two ill advised interceptions, and they really changed the momentum of the game. The Chad Voytik crowd is certainly out there, but not too vocal yet.

RB - Isaac Bennett, James Conner

Bennett remains the starter, and he had a fair debut as the main back, but nothing spectacular. James Conner cracks the two deep officially, but it was expected that he would receive some time against the Seminoles anyway. Although Conner posted near identical stats as Bennett, his debut seemed more impressive. Conner runs hard, and has surprising quickness. His freshmen season will be fun to watch.

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

Devin Street had a productive debut, and proved he can be one of the top receivers in the ACC. While Street's performance was solid, it is no secret we are all gushing over Tyler Boyd's debut. He touched the ball five times offensively, but every time it was a big play. I think we would all hope he should be targeted way more often than just five times for this week and beyond, and I expect he will. Weatherspoon or Tinker failed to record a reception in week one, and the depth questions remain.

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

Garner looks like he can be a true weapon for this offense, as he does have the lone touchdown on the season. Holtz is just a consistent blocker that has the ability to make plays in the passing game. Jaymar Parrish made a catch as well. This unit is one of Pitt's deepest and most talented.

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

The offensive line two deep is the exact same as last week. The unit definitely needs to improve on last week. They did not play a bad game, but Pitt needs to establish a better running game.

DE - David Durham* Bryan Murphy* Ejuan Price* Shakir Soto Devin Cook

Jack Lippert was listed as a member of this group last week, so that is the only change. The ends did not have a great game, but Florida State employed some quick crossing routes that did not allow much of a rush. It is no secret that Pitt's ends are on the smallish side, so this unit has a lot to prove.

NT - Tyrone Ezell, LaQuentin Smith

No changes here. Ezell recorded three tackles against FSU, while Smith assisted for one.

DT - Aaron Donald, Darryl Render

Donald quietly had a productive game. He had one sack, and rushed Winston another time. Still, it is hard for a guy like Donald to make an impact in a game like Florida State. Render posted a tackle in the backfield, and has proven to be a solid replacement when Donald needs a break.

SAM LB - Bam Bradley, Nicholas Grigsby

This unit remains unchanged. Bam Bradley had an OK debut, and came up with a big tackle for loss early in the game. Grigsby recorded a sack in the game.

MLB - Shane Gordon, Matt Galambos

Mike Caprara was listed as a co backup last week, but not this week. Shane Gordon made three solo tackles, but looked slow in coverage at times. Galambos assisted in two tackles, and played a lot on special teams.

WILL LB - Anthony Gonzalez, Todd Thomas

Gonzalez remains the starter, but Todd Thomas is right there. Gonzalez displayed his athleticism by making seven solo tackles against the speedy Seminoles. Still, like all the linebackers, his pass coverage was not much to speak of. Thomas was one of Pitt's best players last season, he will work his way in there.

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

The corners caught a lot of heat last week, but I still believe in this unit. I think coverage packages called by the coaches, and the lack of pressure in the front seven hurt the corners. Coles and Howard certainly looked like freshman playing a top flight team, but they can certainly grow into solid players.

SS - Jason Hendricks, Terrish Webb

This unit remains the same, except for Jevonte Pitts not being listed. Hendricks is one of the better players on the team, despite the poor defensive effort as a team, there should be little worry with number 25. Webb is another Clairton freshmen that is proving he can hang in the two deep.

FS - Ray Vinopal, Cullen Christian, Jevonte Pitts

This unit remains unchanged from last week. Vinopal led the team in tackles in week one. I do not think he played a great game, but was forced into making plays downfield after big completions.

Special Teams: Punter - Matt Yoklic. Kicker - Chris Blewitt. Long Snapper - Kevin Barthelemy

No changes here. Blewitt was one of many freshman to make an impact in his debut. He should be a good one for the Panthers in the coming years.

Returners - PR: K'waun Williams, Kevin Weatherspoon. KR: Lafayette Pitts OR Tyler Boyd

It is actually unclear who will return kicks along side Boyd or Pitts, since none else is listed. Boyd had a little flash of daylight in one of his attempts, and is certainly Pitt's most explosive threat.

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