Pitt defensive end Rashad Weaver had a phenomenal return to action in Pitt’s 21-10 win over Syracuse on Saturday, and as a result, the Walter Camp Football Foundation named him the Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday.
The game was the 6’5”, 270-pound defensive end’s first since New Year’s Eve 2018, when Pitt faced Stanford in the Sun Bowl and ended its season with a 14-13 loss. After that, Weaver went 628 days without playing in a game.
In his return, Weaver led Pitt in tackles, with seven; sacks, with two; and tackles for losses, with three. He had a hand in back-to-back sacks in the first quarter and was credited with half a sack for each of those plays. And in the third quarter, he brought down Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito on an ill-advised attempt to convert a 4th-and-3.
Weaver’s takedowns of DeVito did much more than pad the defensive end’s stats, as they killed two Syracuse drives. The first two brought up an Orange punt by Nolan Cooney on 4th-and-17, and Weaver's solo sack gave Pitt the ball on a turnover on downs.
With a successful weekend in the books, Weaver now leads the team in tackles for losses and is tied with Dayon Hayes for the team lead in sacks. And thanks in part to Weaver’s contributions, Pitt currently leads the nation in sacks, with a total of 10.
Weaver is the first Pitt player to earn Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation since Aaron Donald was recognized by the foundation in 2013.