QB - 1. Nate Peterman 2. Chad Voytik
Nate Peterman orchestrated the offense to a solid 31-13 road victory over Duke last week. The junior quarterback went another game without an interception, and managed the game well for coordinator Jim Chaney. Peterman tossed three touchdowns for 180 yards total, and rushed for another 23 yards. It was an ideal game out of Peterman as he did not have to attempt more than 25 passes, and limited mistakes. He did have some rough patches in the second quarter, but held it together to guide Pitt to their seventh win of the season.
RB - 1. Qadree Ollison OR Chris James OR Darrin Hall
Qadree Ollison pieced together another solid outing last week against Duke. The redshirt freshman rushed the ball 26 times for 111 yards and 1 touchdown. It marked the fourth time this season Ollison toppled the century mark and is now up to 859 yards for the season. A good game against Louisville, and Ollison may be able to get to 1,000 yards for the season.
Darrin Hall and Chris James were not nearly as effective as Ollison last week. Hall had 14 yards, while James posted 10. James has been the better of the two players for sure, and may be due for a bounce back game this week against Louisville.
FB - 1. George Aston 2. Colton Lively 3. Anthony Rippole
The fullbacks did not see any touches last week, but I thought Aston did a nice job lead blocking on Saturday.
WR - 1. Tyler Boyd Dontez Ford 2. Zach Challingsworth Jester Weah 3. Elijah Zeise Tre Tipton 4. Quadree Henderson
Tyler Boyd finished the day with just three catches for 38 yards last week against Duke. Still, Boyd is tied for 11th nationally and is first in the ACC with 69 receptions this season. Boyd made his presence felt on the ground with 79 yards on eight carries. He has been performing at a very high level this season, and I suspect he will have more than three catches this week against the Cardinals.
The story lately has been the emergence of some secondary receiving options. The first 4-5 games did not establish any consistent compliment to Boyd, but things have changed in recent weeks. Dontez Ford is up to 21 receptions this season, and is averaging 20 yards a catch. He has been very impressive lately. Zach Challingsworth has really stepped it up the past three games. and made the play of the day last week with his touchdown catch. Beyond these three, nobody really appears to be in the mix. Given Pitt's current offense, I wouldn't expect anyone else to get into the act this late in the game.
TE - 1. JP Holtz 2. Scott Orndoff 3. Jaymar Parrish
J.P. Holtz had two catches for 31 yards last week, with one of those receptions coming as a three yard touchdown. It was Holtz's fourth touchdown of the season, and his first since the Georgia Tech game. Orndoff was held out of the box score. Parrish did a nice job as an extra blocker that helped propel Ollison to his big game.
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 offense put together 448 total yards last Saturday, and it appeared to be one of the more complete performances of the year from the whole team. Pitt held the ball for nearly 40 minutes and racked up 26 first downs. Pitt had the running game going with Ollison, and Peterman had time to make the throws. Pitt has lost two in a row at home, we'll see if they can break that trend on Saturday.
DE - 1. Rori Blair Ejuan Price 2. Shakir Soto James Folston 3. Allen Edwards
Ejuan Price added another sack last week and is up to 6.5 on the year. Rori Blair had a few stops. The ends have been much better than last season, and the hope is that the team can finish strong. Louisville presents a number of challenges on offense, and it's a game Pitt can't afford for their pass rush to go silent.
DT - 1. Darryl Render 2. Mark Scarpinato 3. Jeremiah Taleni
Mark Scarpinato was out for the second straight week against Duke. Render played a solid game, and helped keep a talented Duke offense in check. Jeremiah Taleni got more snaps than usual with Scarpinato not playing.
NT - 1. Tyrique Jarrett 2. Khaynin Mosley-Smith 3. Justin Moody
Tyrique Jarrett was injured last week, and did not dress against Duke. It was indicated this week on Pat Narduzzi's radio show that he is expected to return this week. Obviously that's a big boost for depth, but he's been the starter all year and makes this a better defense. Moody got on the field some last week after playing sparingly throughout most of the season.
Star Linebacker - 1. Nicholas Grigsby 2. Matt Steinbeck 3. Jameel Poteat
Nicholas Grigsby finished the game last week with five tackles, and had a solid day overall. Matt Steinbeck had a huge play in the first half as he was able to knock away a sure touchdown for Duke on a fake field goal play. It was a big momentum shift in the game, and an impressive play by the Bucknell transfer.
Mike Linebacker - 1. Matt Galambos 2. Quintin Wirginis
Matt Galambos had another steady game as he finished with five tackles. Pitt could use a big sack or interception from him this week. He's been a big play threat for this defense and has really elevated his game this season.
Money Linebacker - 1. Mike Caprara OR Bam Bradley 2. Jamal Davis II
Mike Caprara was named ACC Linebacker of the week for his performance against Duke. The junior from Woodland Hills high school posted eight tackles and two sacks. He has been another player that has really stepped up this year, and he seems to have a knack for big plays as evidence by his performance last week against the Blue Devils. Bam Bradley is still a co-starter and is a capable player himself.
CB - 1. Lafayette Pitts Avonte Maddox 2. Phillipie Motley Ryan Lewis 3. Dennis Briggs
The Pitt corners had an OK game last week. Duke made some big passing plays, but the corners responded with some strong plays of their own. Teams have been really trying to challenge these corners in recent weeks. They have had some struggles, but have made some big plays as well.
FS - 1. Terrish Webb OR Pat Amara Jr. 2. Reggie Mitchell
Reggie Mitchell returned to the lineup last week and looked good moving around out there. He deflected a pass and came up with three tackles. He makes a strong safety position even better.
SS - 1. Jordan Whitehead 2. Jevonte Pitts
Jordan Whitehead was named ACC freshman of the week for his performance last week. Just an ordinary week for this guy, as it seems he's honored almost every week. Whitehead had 9 tackles, an interception, and broke up a sure touchdown. Oh, and he rushed four times for 38 yards. I expect the Whitehead offensive experiment to continue, but it does not seem to be affecting his defense.
K - Chris Blewitt P - Ryan Winslow LS - Pat Quirin/David Murphy
Chris Blewitt got to show off his strong leg last week with a 51 yard field goal. He is now 13-18 on the season with a pair of kicks going 50+ yards.
PR - Maddox/Boyd/Whitehead KR - Boyd/Maddox/Pitts/Ford
True Freshman Quadree Henderson handled kickoff returns last week and had a 19 yard average on three returns. Henderson was expected to have a role on this team, but has failed to make the impact some were expecting. Perhaps he can find a niche as the kickoff returner these last three games.