What more can you say about Jordan Whitehead? He's a true freshman and is a tackling machine from the safety position. He was at it again yesterday afternoon with an 11-tackle effort. Nine of those stops were of the solo variety. This has become the norm for the true freshman this season for Pitt and I expect it won't change much in the coming weeks and years. Despite the 42-30 loss to Notre Dame yesterday, Whitehead continues to shine and it wasn't just on defense.
For a few weeks, Pat Narduzzi and his staff have indicated that they have a package of plays on offense for the uber-talented Central Valley graduate. Yesterday, they showed that they were not bluffing. On top of the stellar defensive day by Whitehead, he also produced four carries for 27 yards and two touchdowns.
The second touchdown brought Pitt to within 11 of the Irish and was very impressive. The play seemed to call for Whitehead to go up the middle or off tackle, but there was no where to run. He quickly made the decision to bounce it to the outside and outrun the Notre Dame defenders to the corner of the end zone and dive for the corner. With the athletes that the Irish have on both sides of the ball, that is no small feat.
The Panthers also targeted Whitehead on a couple of passing plays and an impressive interception by Notre Dame's Matthias Farley at the one-yard line kept him from a hat trick of touchdowns yesterday afternoon. It's not often that a player can do the things Whitehead did in yesterday's loss, but add to it that he's only a true freshman, and you can forgive Pitt fans for getting excited about the next couple of years of seeing him.