QB - 1. Nate Peterman 2. Manny Stocker
Nate Peterman played another solid game last week against Georigia Tech. The senior quarterback was 14-20 for 192 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions. These are the type of stat lines we are starting to get accustomed to from Peterman. Overall, I thought it was one of his better games. He hit some big throw throughout the game, and Pitt was efficient from third downs early in the game. He spread the ball around, and of course, limited mistakes. I think Canada seems more and more comfortable letting him air it out more, and we’ve seen that as the season has progressed.
RB - 1. James Conner 2. Chawntez Moss OR Qadree Ollison OR Darrin Hall
Pitt got three of the four running backs into the mix on Saturday. Conner led the way with 60 yards on 14 carries. His consecutive game touchdown streak ended, but Conner still proved to be effective on most of his touches, and broke out for a 21 yard run at one point. Conner isn’t being asked to carry this team by himself, but the running game has been impressive without a dominant stat line from him.
Once again, it was true freshmen Chawntez Moss that got the second most touches of the backs, and he did not disappoint. Moss went for 45 yards on eight carries, and brought down an 11 yard reception. Moss is looking very good for a freshman, and his vision and cutbacks are what is most impressive about his game. Qadree Ollison got three carries for 20 yards and a touchdown, his first of the season.
FB - 1. George Aston 2. Jaymar Parrish
Once again, George Aston proved to be an instrumental part of the offense against the Yellow Jackets. Aston had four carries for 19 yards and caught three passes for 19 yards. He just always seems to be involved, and continues to be an unsung hero to this team.
WR - 1. Jester Weah Quadree Henderson 2. Aaron Mathews OR Maurice Ffrench Tre Tipton 3. Rafael Araujo-Lopes
Going into the season, I thought this position was a question mark. And while this isn’t a group of gang busters, they are showing signs each week and they are making some plays. Both Jester Weah and Quadree Henderson have 17 catches apiece this season, which is tied for the team lead.
Tre Tipton is emerging from the pack as a very good third option. He caught two passes for 18 yards and rushed three times for 21 yards against Georgia Tech. Tipton is becoming apart of the weekly game plan, and he looks capable.
Aaron Mathews caught one pass, but it was a seven yard play on a crucial third down early in the game. Mathews looks the part, and is being targeted more than he was in the first month of the season.
TE - 1. Scott Orndoff 2. Jaymar Parrish
Talk about right place at the right time, but man Scott Orndoff’s 74 yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter will be one of the defining moments of this season. Orndoff had another catch for 12 yards. He’s second on the team in receptions and receiving yardage on the year.
LT - 1. Adam Bisnowaty 2. Aaron Reese
LG - 1. Dorian Johnson 2. Carson Baker
C - 1. Alex Officer 2. Connor Dintino
RG - 1. Alex Bookser 2. John Guy
RT - 1. Brian O’Neill 2. Jaryd Jones-Smith
Once again, Pitt had another productive day of offense. They finished the day with 407 yards of total offense and posted 37 points on the board, which is the team’s season average. Oh, and yeah there was the play that broke the internet when Brian O’Neill had a 24 yard rushing touchdown. That was pretty neat.
Pitt O-lineman Brian O'Neill is listed at 6'6", 300 lbs.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 8, 2016
He just ran in a touchdown vs Georgia Tech. https://t.co/v6njYHZnbD
DE - 1. Ejuan Price Rori Blair 2. James Folston Allen Edwards 3. Rashad Weaver
Ejuan Price did some Ejuan Price things on Saturday with a sack and two QB hurries. Price also came down with six tackles as well. Price leads the country with 8.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss this season. Pretty impressive stuff from the sixth year senior, he should start to get more and more national recognition if he keeps up this pace.
DT - 1. Shakir Soto 2. Amir Watts OR Keyshon Camp
Shakir Soto probably played the best game of his Pitt career on Saturday. The senior defensive tackle led the team with eight tackles. He also had two stops for loss. He made plenty of plays throughout the game and looked very comfortable against the triple option. Soto never seemed to put it altogether at defensive end, but I have been impressed with his play on the inside this season. You have to wonder if he should have been playing this spot all along.
NT - 1. Tyrique Jarrett 2. Shane Roy OR Mike Herndon
Tyrique Jarrett came up with the play of the year for the Pitt defense on Saturday. The senior stuffed Georgia Tech on fourth down late in the game which gave the ball to the offense who finished off the win. Like Soto, I’ve been impressed with Jarrett all year long. His biggest concern was conditioning, but he’s held up for six games nicely. You have to credit Mike Herndon as well, as he recorded his first career sack off the bench.
Money LB - 1. Mike Caprara 2. Saleem Brightwell
Neither one of these guys played last Saturday. Caprara is working his way back from an injury, we’ll see if he can get into the mix this week. Brightwell had been playing well, but Narduzzi and Conklin tend to be picky with who plays against the triple option, thus Bam Bradley got most of the reps at this spot.
Mike LB - 1. Matt Galambos 2. Quintin Wirginis
Matt Galambos finished last week with six tackles. He also posted a big tackle for loss early in the football game. Wirginis played, but was held out of the box score.
Star LB - 1. Seun Idowu 2. Bam Bradley
Idowu remains as the starter here at the star, but I wonder if Bradley is knocking on the door to be the starter. Bradley made some very nice plays against Georgia Tech. In fact, he made one of the best plays of the day against the triple option. On the drive where Jarrett stuffed the fourth down attempt, Bradley made a nice play on second down to set up a third and long. Bam Bradley has always had the talent and athleticism to be a great player, it’s unfortunate we only see it in small doses.
CB - 1. Avonte Maddox Ryan Lewis 2. Dane Jackson Phillipie Motley 3. Damar Hamlin Therran Coleman
Well, a lot to get into here. Avonte Maddox is the listed starter, but I expect him to be out for a considerable amount of time, or at the very least this weekend. His injury looked serious enough to miss time. So with that, I expect redshirt freshman Dane Jackson to get his first start of his career. Jackson looked OK last week filling in for Maddox. He’s athletic, and the coaches have given him high praise in the past.
The big there is pretty obvious, and that Damar Hamlin and Therran Coleman are on the depth chart. Sure it’s “third” but they are listed, and they haven’t been listed to date. Hamlin’s presence is especially noteworthy since he hasn’t dressed many games and has been dealing with an injury of some sort. It’s also the fact he was the biggest recruit in last year’s recruiting class. Hamlin has sky high expectations for his career at Pitt, and perhaps his debut is coming on Saturday.
FS - 1. Terrish Webb 2. Reggie Mitchell
Neither of the senior safeties made a big impact on Saturday, as Terrish Webb recorded two tackles and that was it. This position has been under fire for much of the season, Pitt will need a strong performance from them on Saturday.
SS - 1. Jordan Whitehead OR Reggie Mitchell 2. Dennis Briggs
OK, seems a little ridiculous there’s an “OR” between Whitehead and Mitchell. We know who the starter is, and so does everybody else. Whitehead was second on the team Saturday with six tackles. He had one touch on offense, a quiet seven yard run.
K - Chris Blewitt P - Ryan Winslow LS - Pat Quirin
Chris Blewitt was 4-4 on extra points and 3-3 on Field Goal attempts, including the game winner. The last one wasn’t pretty, but hey who’s complaining?
KR/PR - 1. Quadree Henderson 2. Avonte Maddox
Quadree Henderson is second in all-purpose yardage in the entire country with 1,046 yards. The breakdown is 343 rushing yards, 174 receiving yards, 66 punt return yards, and 463 kickoff return yards.