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Pitt vs. Georgia Tech: Breaking Down the Two Deep

Looking at Pitt's weekly depth chart for the Georgia Tech game.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

QB  -   1. Nathan Peterman 2. Chad Voytik

Nathan Peterman probably had his best game of the season statistically speaking. The junior QB tossed two touchdown passes on 17-24 passing for 222 yards.   Peterman engineered some very impressive drives, including the first one of the game that resulted in a touchdown pass to Scott Orndoff.  He still showed some inconsistent characteristics, but again that may be attributed to some questionable play calling.  He is starting to look comfortable, and the offense seemed more productive and lively against Virginia than it did against Virginia Tech.

Chad Voytik played sparingly once again. The former starting QB ran the ball twice for two yards. He has not attempted a pass since the Iowa game.

RB -   1. Qadree Ollison  OR  Chris James 2. Darrin Hall

Qadree Ollison carried the ball 13 times for 49 yards and a touchdown last Saturday against Virginia.  The redshirt freshman is now up to 476 yards and 4 touchdowns on the year.  Ollison should have had a second touchdown, but fumbled it at the one yard line. It marked the second straight game someone has managed to punch the ball away from Ollison. I don't think he is careless with the football or anything, but you would hope ball security improves over time. It cost Pitt a touchdown, and a chance to put Virginia away sooner.

Chris James had his best game of the young season. The sophomore had 11 carries for 94 yards, and also caught a pass for four yards.  James has dealt with injuries this season, and has been bottled up in his limited appearances. It was nice to see James resemble the back that ran for 437 yards in 2014.  James is obviously the faster of the two players, and it's pretty clear the coaches will ride the hot hand since they have an "OR" between their names this week.

Darrin Hall did not see any action for the second straight week.  It remains to be seen if he can contribute on Saturday.

FB - 1. George Aston   2. Colton Lively    3. Anthony Rippole

George Aston recorded his third catch of the season, although it went for negative yardage.  He continues to be a viable safety valve when needed.   Interestingly enough, Pitt now lists three different fullbacks in this week's depth chart. Colton Lively is now listed as the second strong, with Rippole dropping to third.

WR - 1.Tyler Boyd   Dontez Ford 2. Tre Tipton Jester Weah  3. Zach Challingsworth Elijah Zeise  4. Quadree Henderson

Tyler Boyd picked up seven catches for 54 yards and a touchdown on Saturday. Boyd also rushed the ball once for seven yards.  The junior wide receiver now only needs four more catches to achieve 200 receptions for his career. Boyd continues to be the star of the offense, and will be counted on to have a big day Saturday against Georgia Tech.

Dontez Ford had three catches for 63 yards in his best game of the season. Ford has been the starter all year, but has shown in recent weeks he can be a valuable weapon in this offense.  I really love how Ford gets up field after catches, and really adds yardage after contact.  He's a pretty physical player for a receiver.

Tre Tipton reportedly has some sort of injury, but not much has been made of it obviously. He is still listed as the top backup to Dontez Ford.   Jester Weah has been the third option in recent weeks, but dropped a sure wide-open touchdown in the first half. It would be a welcomed addition if Zeise or Quadree Henderson can get into the act this week.

TE - 1. J.P.  Holtz     2. Scott Orndoff   3. Jaymar Parrish

It was a big day of offense for the tight ends. Scott Orndoff had two receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown on Saturday.  Orndoff's touchdown was on a corner route and he was able to outrun the defended for the score.  Even though he is not the "starter", Orndoff has pieced together a very nice season through five games.   Speaking of the starter, Holtz had another solid day as well with two catches.  It's clear the passing game right now is Boyd option one, Tight Ends option 2, Ford option 3, panic and throw the ball away option 4.

LT - 1. Adam Bisnowaty 2. Aaron Reese

LG -  1. Dorian Johnson   2. John Guy

C -  1. Artie Rowell 2. Gabe Roberts

RG -  1. Alex Officer   2. Alex Bookser  3. Mike Herndon

RT - 1. Brian O'Neill    2. Alex Bookser   3. Carson Baker

The Pitt offensive line paved the way for 363 yards of offense on Saturday against Virginia. Pitt passed for 222 yards and racked up 141 yards of rushing.  The offensive line has seemed to be slightly better of late, dating back to the second half of the Virginia Tech game.  Obviously there have been some mistakes and mishaps, but it was a fairly solid performance on Saturday.Artie Rowell did not have the greatest of games, especially at snapping the ball out of the shotgun.  It cost Pitt some field position for sure.  Personally,  I think Officer at center, and Bookser at right guard gives the team their most talented healthy five on the field at the same time.

DE - 1. Rori Blair  Ejuan Price 2. Shakir Soto James Folston  3. Allen Edwards

Ejuan Price had another monster game on Saturday. The senior defensive end posted two tackles for loss, four overall. He also was credited with 4 QB hurries and the blocked extra point.  At some point you have to think Price may be getting NFL looks. He is undersized, but productivity alone should give him a chance. Blair also had a solid game with two tackles, .5 for loss, and a forced fumble.  The starting ends have been very good this season.

As far as the reserves went on Saturday, they had a quiet day. Soto saw the field but did not post any statistics.  Also noteworthy is that Zach Poker is not listed on the depth chart after being there the previous five weeks, and is out this week with an injury.

DT - 1. Darryl Render 2. Mark Scarpinato 3. Jeremiah Taleni

It was a rather quiet day last week for the defensive tackles on Saturday against Virginia, but they will be expected to come up big this week in Atlanta.  If I remind you of the 2013 game against Georgia Tech and the performance Aaron Donald had, it goes to show you how much good defensive line play can slow down the triple option.  Render has to use his quickness to shed cut blocks against the Yellow Jackets.

NT - 1. Tyrique Jarrett   2. Khaynin Mosley-Smith 3. Justin Moody

The Nose Tackles also had a quiet day last week. They may have a quiet day again this week, but if big Tyrique Jarrett can eat up blocks, the other linemen should have big days.

Star Linebacker - 1. Nicholas Grigsby 2. Matt Steinbeck   3. Jameel Poteat

Nicholas Grigsby went out last week early with an injury.  It was a neck injury so obviously there is some concern about his status this week. Generally he is expected to play.     Pretty cool situation with Bucknell transfer, Matt Steinbeck, stepping in for a play for two to record his first tackle here at Pitt. Steinbeck was a very successful player at the FCS level before transferring here.

Mike Linebacker - 1. Matt Galambos   2. Quintin Wirginis

Not only is Galambos better than last year, he's improved since the first two games.  Matt Galambos is playing at an incredibly high level right now, and seemingly went from a weak link to star in a matter of weeks.  Narduzzi effect? Two sacks and an interception for the junior middle linebacker last week.

Money Linebacker -  1. Bam Bradley 2. Mike Caprara 3. Jamal Davis II

Bam Bradley was having an excellent game on Saturday before it was cut short by injury. Bradley had six tackles and two QB hurries before exiting with what looked like a shoulder injury. He too is an important player for Saturday in the triple option.  It seemed like Todd Thomas always played well in these kind of games, and Bradley has a similar skill set.  His health will be key on Saturday.

Mike Caprara came up with one of the biggest plays of the day with a sack that went for a safety in the fourth quarter. He's been in the middle of a lot of the action this year, and good things happen when he's on the field.

CB - 1. Avonte Maddox  Lafayette Pitts 2. Ryan Lewis Phillipie Motley OR Dennis Briggs

Avonte Maddox continues his impressive sophomore campaign.  He played steady in pass coverage, and even added half of a sack as well. Lafayette Pitts held his on Saturday, but still allowed some big plays. Neither guy should be tested a whole lot in pass coverage against the triple option, so both corners need to be ready to tackle.

SS - 1. Jordan Whitehead   2. Jevonte Pitts

Jordan Whitehead posted his second game of his career with double digit tackles (12)  last week.  The true freshman has been outstanding in his young career and is leading the team in tackles.

FS - 1. Terrish Webb 2. Pat Amara Jr.  3. Reggie Mitchell

Both Terrish Webb and Pat Amara have played very well this season.  Webb had a quiet game on the stat sheet last week, but Amara posted some solid numbers. As mentioned all along, tackling at all three levels of the defense will be important against Georgia Tech's triple option attack.

K - Chris Blewitt P -  Ryan Winslow   LS - David Murphy/Pat Quirin

Chris Blewitt made his only field goal attempt on Saturday, and is up to 5-8 on the year.

KR - 1. Boyd Maddox Pitts  2. Ford     PR - 1. Boyd  2. Maddox Whitehead

Many guys are listed here each week, but it's been all Tyler Boyd handling everything since week two.