QB - 1. Nate Peterman 2. Manny Stocker
Nate Peterman had an alright game against Virginia Tech. He made some big throws, but did have an interceptions and nearly lost two fumbles. I think one area he can improve on is to start sliding when he runs. If Peterman goes down, the season is about over for Pitt. Sliding would ensure his health and would help with ball security.
RB - 1. James Conner 2. Chawntez Moss OR Darrin Hall OR Qadree Ollison
James Conner was the only running back to get touches on Thursday. He undoubtedly had his best game of the season in the process. He had a season-high 141 yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries. It resembled the James Conner of 2014 for the first time this season. Conner was able to make plays downfield, and show off some speed as well. It was great to see, and it almost felt they could have used him more.
None of the other backs got touches, and I don’t see that as a big issue. Hall and Ollison have barely been seeing the ball in recent weeks. Chawntez Moss, however, has been seeing the ball. I think it’s important to keep him involved because he’s a nice change of pace, and the presumable starter for next season. Conner was too good on Thursday to sit, but they may need another back this Saturday against the Canes.
FB - 1. George Aston 2. Jaymar Parrish
George Aston had one carry for four yards against Virginia Tech. He also drew a pass interference on the Hokies that set up Brian O’Neill’s touchdown. What a strange sentence, a penalty on Virginia Tech and a touchdown by a linemen.
WR - 1. Jester Weah Quadree Henderson 2. Aaron Mathews OR Maurice Ffrench Tre Tipton 3. Rafael Araujo-Lopes
Jester Weah led the way with four receptions last week and one went for a touchdown. Weah leads the team with 23 receptions for 448 yards and 5 touchdowns. He is having a nice season to date. Quadree Henderson was more involved in the passing game this week. He had three catches, and one called back. Still, they are trying to get him the ball more that way, and for good reason since the jet sweep was not working.
Dontez Ford did not crack this current depth chart, but he did play last week after missing five games. He caught three passes in his return. Tre Tipton had one reception against the Hokies, bringing his season total to 11 catches.
TE - 1. Scott Orndoff 2. Jaymar Parrish
Matt Canada used two creative play calls to get Orndoff the ball, and he made some plays with his legs. Two catches for 96 yards is a nice day for a tight end.
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
I feel repetitive when I talk about the line, but they have been good and consistent this season. They help set up a big yardage total each and every week. Oh yeah, and another Brian O’Neill touchdown.
DE - 1. Ejuan Price Rori Blair 2. James Folson Allen Edwards 3. Rashad Weaver
While not registering a sack, Price did put up three tackles for loss in the loss to Virginia Tech. He was recently named a finalist for the Bednarik Award for the best defensive player in the country. Price has been great all year, and Brad Kaaya is not a mobile QB, it will be interesting to see if he can put some pressure on the Miami quarterback.
DT - 1. Shakir Soto 2. Jeremiah Taleni 3. Amir Watts
Shakir Soto was able to register a sack last week against the Hokies, giving him 2.5 this season. Jeremiah Taleni got into the action for the second consecutive week.
NT - 1. Tyrique Jarrett 2. Shane Roy OR Mike Herndon
Tyrique Jarrett had a season high eight tackles and posted one sack last week. It was one of the more productive games in Jarrett’s career.
Money LB - 1. Mike Caprara 2. Saleem Brightwell
Mike Caprara returned to the lineup for the first time in weeks and did register four tackles. Saleem Brightwell also made two stops against the Hokies.
Mike LB - 1. Matt Galambos 2. Quintin Wirginis
Matt Galambos had five tackles while Quintin Wirginis has three and a sack. Wirginis has been solid all season long, and deserves more playing time. He’s been making big plays all year long.
Star LB - 1. Seun Idowu 2. Bam Bradley
Bam Bradley did not suit up against Virginia Tech. Idowu had five tackles in the game. We’ll see if Bradley can return this week, he would be a big help since he’s been playing well of late.
CB - 1. Phillipie Motley OR Avonte Maddox Ryan Lewis 2. Damar Hamlin Dane Jackson
Another game, another poor showing from the cornerbacks. They have been in position to make plays more so than in September, but they simply aren’t making them. The ball skills of this unit is astoundingly poor. Motley and Maddox are banged up, so that leads to the expectation of more Damar Hamlin. He made his debut last week, and now that the redshirt is off, more playing time should follow.
FS - 1. Terrish Webb or Reggie Mitchell
It was another lackluster performance from the Free Safety spot.
SS - 1. Jordan Whitehead OR Reggie Mitchell 2. Dennis Briggs
I still don’t get the whole “OR” thing between Whitehead and Mitchell, but it shows up on the depth chart once again this week.
K - Chris Blewitt P - Ryan Winslow LS - Pat Quirin
I thought special teams as a whole was bad last week.
KR/PR - 1. Quadree Henderson 2. Avonte Maddox
A fumble on Quadree Henderson’s first kickoff return spotted Virginia Tech a quick 6-0 lead. It wasn’t his best game, he didn’t have a lot of room to work.