It's Game Week, which means we're officially starting #BeatBuffalo. One bit of news (besides the whole "Pitt to the Big 12" thing) is the official depth chart, which was released in Pitt's game notes for the upcoming game against the Bulls.
The two-deep and reactions after the jump:
Starters are listed in bold
QB: Tino Sunseri, Trey Anderson or Mark Myers
Reactions: We kind of saw this coming once news out of camp was that Trey Anderson was performing well enough to be the backup. But the coaches haven't been able to choose Anderson or Myers as the designated backup. I would have to choose Anderson as he has been doing great in the past few weeks in camp should Tino go down.
UPDATE: Anderson was named backup during Todd Graham's press conference today.
Tailback: Ray Graham, Zach Brown or Corey Davis or Malcolm Crockett or Isaac Bennett
Reactions: Not a surprise here, really. Everyone knew Graham was getting the start. Expect Brown to get the most carries out of the remaining four as the rest are all true freshman
H-Back: Hubie Graham, Drew Carswell
Reactions: A bit of a surprise, as I wasn't thinking Graham would see much time as fullback. But he will be there when Pitt lines up in pro-style sets. I was actually surprised Anthony Gonzalez wasn't listed as he was apparently impressing the coaches at the position.
Receivers: Devin Street (X-Receiver), Mike Shanahan (Y-Receiver), Cam Saddler (Z-Receiver), Ronald Jones, Salath Williams, Ed Tinker.
Reactions: No surprise here. These three were the top receivers heading into the spring and kept their starting roles. Anson just wrote a piece on how Jones could be a potential breakout player. I expect when Pitt uses a fullback that Saddler won't be on the field.
O-line: Juantez Hollins (LT), Chris Jacobson (LG), Ryan Turnley (C), Lucas Nix (RG), Jordan Gibbs (RT), Zenel Demhasaj (LT), Matt Rotheram (LG), Chris Jacobson (C), Cory King (RG), Greg Gaskins (RT)
Reactions: Pitt's perennial question mark. I'm not going to go into the line again as I just wrote about it last week. So click on the link if you want more info about this unit.
Defensive End: Aaron Donald OR Justin Hargrove, Brandon Lindsey
Reactions: I put Lindsey here because if Pitt lines up in a 4-3, which Graham says he will do occasionally, Lindsey will be a DE. But here is the first major area to watch as there is no listed starter. Hargrove did take most of the first-team starts in camp so expect him to be starting.
Nose Tackle: Myles Caragein, Khaynin Mosley-Smith
Reactions: No surprise. Caragein has been a great player on the line so he was almost guaranteed a starting role. Mosley-Smith has done well in camp. He lost around 30-40 pounds over the summer and has played well throughout camp.
Defensive Tackle: Chas Alecxih, Tyrone Ezell
Reactions: Again, this was expected. When Pitt is in a 3-4, Alecxih figures to be on the end with Caragein in the middle and Hargrove/Donald on the opposite side.
Panther linebacker: Brandon Lindsey, Juan Price, Joe Trebitz
Reactions: Obvious. Price (who is incorrectly listed as Ejuan Price on Pitt's official two-deep) had taken many of the second-team snaps at the Panther linebacker and was performing well. Hopefully he will continue to improve so he can jump right in next season as the starter.
Spur linebacker: Andrew Taglianetti OR Todd Thomas, Greg Williams, Carl Fleming
Reactions: Here is a surprise. After Williams went down with an injury, Thomas figured to be a lock for the start. I didn't think that Tags would be here, but Graham liked his play throughout camp after having one of his best games in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
UPDATE: Tags will also be the starter at nickelback. Thomas will be the starter against the Bulls.
SAM linebacker: Shane Gordon, LaQuentin Smith
Reactions: Gordon had taken a lot of snaps with the first-team the last few days of camp, so this was expected. Although Todd Graham had said that he would place Tristan Roberts ahead of Gordon due to more experience.
WILL linebacker: Max Gruder OR Tristan Roberts
Reactions: The big area to watch on defense. Graham has said that Gruder, Roberts, and Gordon are all starters, but it'll be interesting to see who gets more playing time. I think it's a lock that Gruder will see plenty of time. The battle comes down to Roberts or Gordon, but Graham likes Roberts due to more experience.
Cornerback: K'Waun Williams, Antwuan Reed, Saheed Imoru, Jeremiah Davis, Buddy Jackson, Lloyd Carrington
Reactions: Imoru has to be one of the biggest disappointments on this Panther team. He was well regarded coming out junior college, but he failed to crack the starting lineup. Reed was a lock throughout fall camp. Buddy Jackson had seen some first-team snaps late, but Williams has been great throughout fall camp.
Bandit safety: Jason Hendricks, Lafayette Pitts, Lloyd Carrington
Reactions: The big news here is that Pitts, a highly touted recruit in this past year's class, managed to crack the two-deep. While Pitts took most of his snaps at corner, Graham wants to give him more opportunities to get on the field as CB is taken by Jackson, Williams, and Reed.
Free safety: Jarred Holley, Brandon Ifill, Andrew Taglianetti
Reactions: Holley, one of the best in the conference, obviously has earned his starting role. No surprises here.
Special teams: Kevin Harper (PK), Matt Yoklic (P and holder), Kevin Barthelemy (LS), Buddy Jackson OR Corey Davis (KOR), Ronald Jones OR Cam Saddler (PR)
Reactions: This was obvious. The story here was how successful Harper would be after somewhat struggling in 2010. But word out of camp is that he has become more accurate.