Before coming back for a 37-34 Homecoming win against Georgia Tech on Saturday, Pitt got off to a great start offensively. Their first drive was capped by a trick play that went for a touchdown by offensive lineman Brian O'Neill.
O'Neill isn't new to catching passes since he was formerly a tight end. But obviously, it was a shock to just about everyone to see him get the ball. He found out early in the week that they'd be calling his number and he wasn't expecting to hear that.
"They told me about it Tuesday morning and I was kind of surprised, kind of caught off-guard," O'Neill said. "The O-line had a big joke that we weren't going to run it."
Head coach Pat Narduzzi completely believed Georgia Tech would be caught off guard by his tackle running out for a catch. In fact, the coach expected O'Neill to score.
"He [Coach Narduzzi] told me before the game that, ‘if we get down there, anywhere between the 20- or 25-yard line on the left hash, we're running it," O'Neill added, recounting the words of his coach. "Be ready. Don't do anything stupid when you score a touchdown, because you're going to score a touchdown.'"
Despite Narduzzi's confidence in the play, O'Neill talked about being surprised at being so wide open. His immediate thoughts after he caught the ball?
O'Neill's play call there from coordinator Matt Canada was just another great trick play we've seen this year. The Pitt offense has had some problems but is incredibly exciting to watch and, as O'Neill's play demonstrated, you never know what they'll run.