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Pitt vs. Virginia: Breaking down the Two Deep

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Looking at Pitt's depth chart for Saturday's game against Virginia.

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback -  1.  Nathan Peterman 2. Chad Voytik

Another interesting week in the Pitt quarterback dilemma.  Nathan Peterman had a pretty modest game with 9-15 passing, 110 yards, and a touchdown pass without an interception.  Solid numbers in a rainy game, nothing outstanding, but he managed the game just fine. Peterman took some sacks, but it wasn't the best showing by the offensive line.  Through no fault of his own, Jim Chaney asked Peterman to run the ball, as in designed runs from a pocket quarterback. Seemed odd, and Virginia Tech caught on rather quickly. Hopefully in better weather conditions this week, Peterman may be allowed to air it out a little bit.

Chad Voytik was not given a passing play at all this week, and only saw a few snaps overall.  Voytik rushed for 37 yards on 5 carries, including a nice 26 yard scamper on his first carry. Oddly enough, Voytik's snaps disappeared after showing some effectiveness. Pitt continued to run QB draws with the slower of the two players, while Voytik watched from the sidelines.  I still can't figure it out, but we'll see if Voytik can get into the game plan again this week.


Running Back  -   1. Qadree Ollison     2. Chris James OR Darrin Hall

After barely touching the ball against Iowa, Pitt leaned pretty heavily on Qadree Ollison against Virginia Tech.  The redshirt freshman from Niagara Falls posted his second 100+ yard season, and added his third rushing touchdown of the year as well.  Ollison is the lone starter on this week's depth chart and leads the team with 427 yards and three touchdowns.

Chris James could not find much of a rhythm in last week's game.  He ran the ball five times for 6 yards.  Pitt rode the hot hand of Ollison, but it was slightly concerning James couldn't get much going last week.  Hopefully he is able to contribute some this week.  Darrin Hall missed last week, and could return this week.


Fullback -  1. George Aston   2. Anthony Rippole

George Aston helped pave the way for Ollison's big game last week. Pitt's running game was aided by lead blockers big time last time out, and Aston should see significant snaps again this week.


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

Tyler Boyd posted five catches for 48 yards in the win over Virginia Tech. Boyd is now up to 26 receptions, 274 yards, and a touchdown in three games this season. It was not a game where Pitt could really take advantage of Boyd's ability. Pitt should be able to use Boyd more this week, but a lot of it depends on the shaky Quarterback play.

Dontez Ford had one catch for five yards, and that was the extent of Pitt's production from the receiving corps. Jester Weah had a couple of targets, and had a catch taken away by a penalty.  He is a big, athletic target they may develop more of a role as the season progresses.  As I have been saying for weeks now, it's Tyler Boyd and then a total guess after that.

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

J.P. Holtz had one catch, but it was a big one. The senior captain hauled in a 23 yard touchdown in the first quarter to set the tone against Virginia Tech. It marked the 9th touchdown of Holtz's career. Scott Orndoff came down with two catches for 34 yards, including a big 28 yard reception down the middle of the field.  I have been pleased that both players have found roles in the offense.

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


Pitt's offensive line paved the way for 276 yards last week in the win against Virginia Tech. They seemed to struggle in pass protection, and the running game was off and on early in the game.  Pitt put together a powerful scoring drive to start the second half with a couple of runs off the left side of the line. The unit has not been overly impressive this season, but they have suffered from the inconsistent play calling and quarterback shuffle as much as anyone.

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

Ejuan Price was seemingly everywhere on Saturday. The senior defensive end came up with two sacks, and 3.5 tackles for loss overall.  Price was just a beast, and seemed to set the tone for the entire defense. Rori Blair had a quiet day on the stat sheet, but was able to pressure the quarterback, and just barely landing a few sacks of his own.  I thought Shakir Soto made some nice plays in his playing time.

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

Darryl Render had one of the better showings of his career last Saturday. The senior from Cleveland had a sack, and a hand in another tackle for loss. He was quick and explosive off the ball and proved to be a disruptive force. Mark Scarpinato made some plays, including batting down a pass.  He also showed the ability to make plays from the interior spot and proved his worth on Saturday.

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

Tyrique Jarrett's impressive 2015 season continued against Virginia Tech.  He only got credit for half a sack, but made the play on his own on a crucial down in the fourth quarter. He is a force in the middle and is a big part of this defense's turnaround. Khaynin Mosley-Smith also came up with some big plays on Saturday, and to be frank, the number of defensive player that didn't do anything is small. Pitt's defense as a whole was just so good.

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

Nicholas Girgsby finished Saturday with nine total tackles, with one coming for a loss. It has been a memorable senior season for Nic Grigsby thus far, and he will look to keep it going this Saturday.

Mike Linebacker -   1. Matt Galambos   2. Quintin Wirginis

Matt Galambos probably played one of the best games he has ever played in a Pitt uniform. The junior linebacker led the team with 10 tackles.  He also came up with his second sack of the season against the hapless Hokies' offense.  Galambos has had his ups and downs throughout his career, but he sure looks comfortable in recent weeks.

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

Bam Bradley came up with a solid game against Virginia Tech. Bradley had a couple of jarring hits, a usual day at the office for him.  He has also shed the "OR" next to his name, and is now the lone starter at the money spot.

Mike Caprara posted a sack and an interception, and will continue to see playing time despite losing to co-starting spot.

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

Avonte Maddox is starting to earn some respect as a corner, and is seeing less passes coming his way.  Obviously, I could be overstating that because Pitt's front seven barely let the quarterback throw the ball.  Either way, Maddox read a pass perfectly, broke coverage, and hauled in his first interception of the season.  He also provided sound run support.

The other corners had quiet days, but again, the defensive line barely let Virginia Tech's quarterback throw the ball.

SS -  1. Jordan Whitehead    2. Jevonte Pitts

Jordan Whitehead posted five tackles, and now leads the team in that category. He is having a stellar freshman season.

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

Perhaps the biggest surprise of this defense has been the play of Terrish Webb.  Last week he earned ACC co-Defensive Back of the week.  It marked the second time that he has brought home that honor this season. Webb brought in his second interception of the season, and defended three passes.  He has been a bright spot, and has really filled in for Reggie Mitchell and then some.

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

Chris Blewitt made both of his extra point attempts on Saturday, while going 1-2 in field goal attempts. Although, one of his kicks were blocked and I am not sure it was his fault.

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

Pitt nearly had disaster when Tyler Boyd muffed a punt, but the Panthers managed to hang onto the ball, and that was probably the most exciting return all day.