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Pitt-Virginia Tech Panther of the Game: Ejuan Price

Pitt's defense made it difficult to select just one player for Panther of the Game, so I went with a group instead.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Pitt's defense stood up big in Pitt's 17-13 win over Virginia Tech yesterday. It was hard to select just one player since the defensive line played so well. But when the smoke cleared, Ejuan Price was the one that stood out the most.

Virginia Tech finished with just 100 yards of total offense and, no, that's not a misprint - 100 total yards. The defense ended with seven sacks for 57 total yards lost, including three of those in the fourth quarter alone with the game on the line. The Hokies' top rusher was Travon McMillian, who finished with six carries for just 14 yards. The entire unit was impressive and freed up the linebackers and secondary to make a good amount of plays too.

Price had two of those seven sacks and also 3 1/2 tackles for losses. Both of those led the team and he was tied for third in overall tackles with five.

He was a big part of the harassment the team gave Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley. When he didn't finish a play with the ball in his hands and face down on the turf, he was hurried and hit repeatedly. All of the hits added up, and Motley was beat up by the end of the game and his arm had nothing left by the time it was over.

The most impressive thing about Pitt's defensive line, was the amount of pressure they applied with the game on the line in the fourth quarter. They were relentless. On top of all the pressure, there were simply no holes to run through for the Hokie running backs. Again, Price didn't do it all on his own but he led the way.

The defensive line was a huge liability last year, so coming into the year, most knew that a big step forward was needed. Today they got it and it looks to be here to stay.

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