QB - 1. Chad Voytik 2. Trey Anderson
Chad Voytik did not have a great game Saturday. The redshirt sophomore failed to hit the 100 yard passing mark for the second time in three games. Voytik has not been asked to throw a lot, but he may be forced into more throws this week. On the positive side of things, Voytik did rush for 100 yards against FIU, and he is certainly Pitt's most athletic QB they have had in quite some time. I think the plan was for Trey Anderson to play in the FIU game, but I do not think Pitt was planning on it being such a close game and him being in their in a tight situation. Anderson went 2-2 for 12 yards, and at least has some game experience if Pitt ever does need him.
RB - 1. James Conner 2. Isaac Bennett
James Conner had another impressive performance with 177 yards and three touchdowns. Had he not fumbled twice in the redzone, both of those numbers could be even better. Conner now has 544 yards through three games, which is second nationally, and leads the country with eight rushing touchdowns. Just as we were all ready to anoint Chris James as the second back in the offense, Isaac Bennett came up with six carries for 38 yards and caught a ball for five yards, while Chris James did not have a touch in week three. James did show up on some plays, but did not get a carry. Bennett's health may finally be 100%, and perhaps he truly is the team's true second back. I still think this is a situation we need to watch. James is obviously a talented guy, but Bennett can still play too.
HB - 1. Jaymar Parrish 2. Scott Orndoff
Both players did not see a touch in week three, and between the two, Orndoff's two yard touchdown reception week one against Delaware was the only time either player has touched the ball this season. Orndoff and Parrish especially, have helped pave the way for the nation's fourth leading rushing attack.
WR - 1. Tyler Boyd Manasseh Garner 2. Kevin Weatherspoon Ronald Jones
Tyler Boyd only has 11 catches, but four of them have resulted in touchdowns. Boyd may not post the catches he had last year, he will certainly make a run at having more touchdowns. For a young QB like Voytik, if he is going to improve his passing, throwing to Boyd more will make life easier. He can go up and get it, and make average throws look like they are right on the money. Garner came up with three receptions against FIU, and he is an important possession guy opposite of the big play threat in Boyd. Ronald Jones came up with one catch last week, but he could play an important role Saturday as an underneath threat with most of the focus on Boyd.
TE - 1. J.P. Holtz 2. Devon Edwards
JP Holtz had one reception for 13 yards against FIU. It was a tough catch in traffic across the middle that set Pitt up in the red zone. Holtz is a strong guy, and can be a nice option for Voytik. The passing game has to get better, and Holtz may be a beneficiary of more targets.
LT - 1. Adam Bisnowaty 2. Jaryd Jones-Smith
LG - 1. Dorian Johnson 2. Carson Baker
C - 1. Alex Officer 2. Gabe Roberts
RG - 1. Matt Rotheram 2. Alex Officer
RT - 1. TJ Clemmings 2. Alex Bookser
Pitt's offensive line still continues to be one of the best run blocking units in the nation. Conner and all the backs have been able to find running lanes and gain big chunks of yards at a time. The one big difference between last week to this week, Alex Officer is now listed as the starting center. When Artie Rowell went down with an injury, Gabe Roberts was the man who stepped in against Boston College and finished the game. Roberts was also listed as the starter last week, but it was Officer who got the playing time, and he responded well. I think the center spot may be up for grabs still, but it appears to be Officer taking command.
DE - 1. Shakir Soto David Durham 2. Luke Maclean Rori Blair
Pitt's defensive ends have looked fairly good so far. They are getting contributions from all four guys, and between them they have gone for 4.5 tackles for loss through three games. I think people are mostly surprised with how well Rori Blair is playing, and he looks like he could be a special player in the making. I would still like to see Shakir Soto have a big dominating play, because with his size and ability he is capable of doing it.
DT - 1. Darryl Render 2. Justin Moody
Darryl Render continues to play well in replacing Aaron Donald. He has two tackles for loss, and nine tackles overall. Justin Moody has a stop in the backfield himself, and has done a nice job when he has been rotated in the games.
NT - 1. Khaynin Mosley-Smith 2. Tyrique Jarrett
The two players have done well in taking up space, and giving the rest of the defensive line chances to make plays. Mosley-Smith has four tackles (3 solo 1 assisted) and Jarrett has two assisted. Neither player will dominate the stat sheet, but neither did their predecessor, Tyrone Ezell.
FREEZE - 1. Nicholas Grigsby
Nicholas Grigsby has played very well early on, and is one of Pitt's more unique players on defense. He has seven solo tackles, two for loss, and a sack, while also forcing a fumble. Grigsby is an important player, and Pitt needs him to continue to make plays all over the field.
SAM LB - 1. Anthony Gonzalez 2. Bam Bradley
Anthony Gonzalez leads Pitt in tackles with 15 total. 13 of those stops have been solo efforts, and he has two tackles behind the line with a sack. He certainly looks like Pitt's most improved defensive player. Bam Bradley has been on the field a good bit, and has done just fine himself. He has two tackles for loss, with one being a sack.
MLB - 1. Matt Galambos 2. Mike Caprara
The two middle linebackers have combined for 14 total tackles. Galambos has been very good up the middle, but still struggles in a sideline to sideline role. Still, Pitt needed a true middle linebacker that is willing to stick his nose in the run, and he has done that in his young career.
WILL LB - 1. Todd Thomas 2. Quintin Wirginis
Todd Thomas has been flying around in the early part of the season, and has been playing steady football. He has eight tackles on the season, and did come up with a pick in week one.
CB - 1. Lafeyette Pitts Reggie Mitchell 2. Avonte Maddox Ryan Lewis
After two games without a ton of action, the corners saw a passing game that was able to come up with some big plays. FIU connected on some big passes for 200+ yards, and both corners need to do a better job in coverage.
SS - 1. Terrish Webb 2. Jevonte Pitts
Webb is second on the team in tackles, and leads the Panthers with two interceptions. He is a good player, and will need to play well on Saturday against a good QB and an experienced set of receivers. Iowa's ground game has been struggling, and if Pitt can shut that down early, Webb and the secondary will be tested throughout the game by Jake Ruddock.
FS - 1. Ray Vinopal 2. Pat Amara
Vinopal has been a steady leader for this team, and he is third on the team in tackles. Like I mentioned about Webb and the corners, Vinopal will need to be ready against an Iowa team planning on throwing the ball. Vinopal has come up with meaningful big plays (#BigPlayRay) in the past two years, and he may need to come up with one on Saturday.
K - Chris Blewitt P - Ryan Winslow LS - David Murphy
Chris Blewitt is 4-4 on field goals this season, and he is a hidden weapon for this team. Winslow has been punting well also.
PR - 1. Boyd 2. Weatherspoon KR - 1. Boyd 2. Jones 3. Maddox
Pitt has not had much opportunity to break the big one. Boyd has done well in punt returns, but in the kick return department it was Rachid Ibrahim that came up with Pitt's best return on Saturday.