Pitt held its first scrimmage of training camp today. The scrimmage lasted about two hours – on the unbearably sweltering South Side turf – and they ran 88 plays.
Here are some of the highlights:
*** First off, defensive end Greg Romeus (back spasms), Myles Caragein (ankle), weak-side linebacker Tristan Roberts and strong safety Dom DeCicco (hamstring) were held out. Romeus has missed the past six days. DeCicco and Roberts – not sure what his injury is — were banged up during the morning practice.
That meant defensive end Brandon Lindsey, defensive tackle Tyrone Ezell, linebacker Greg Williams and safety Jason Hendricks all started with the first team on Saturday. The lack of depth kept the play-calling a little “vanilla,” according to Wannstedt.
“It really limited in what we could from a nickel package and dime package,” Wannstedt said. “We played a little bit more base than what we anticipated. I thought overall we were solid on defense.”
Wannstedt said the injuries are “no big deal,” and that all four sidelined players would have been available if the Panthers were playing a regular-season game.
*** Dion Lewis and Jon Baldwin only took 10 snaps and did little. Lewis had seven carries for 19 yards and Baldwin didn’t catch a pass. Baldwin only had one pass thrown his way, on the first play of the scrimmage, and Tino Sunseri underthrew him on a 20-yard out route.
Sunseri finished 5 of 11 for 61 yards and no touchdowns against the first team defense.
*** Sophomore running back Ray Graham left the scrimmage with a left leg injury after being landing head-over-heals on the turf on a hard tackle by safety Jarred Holley. Graham laid on the ground for a couple of minutes, before jumping up, apparently fine. He tried to stay in the game, but the coaches sent him to the trainer’s room for examination. He didn’t return. “Hopefully, it’s nothing serious,” coach Dave Wannstedt said.
With Graham out, Jason Douglas and Chris Burns saw a lot of work. Douglas carried a scrimmage-high 15 times for 19 yards and Burns had 14 carries for 19 yards. That’s a total of 38 yards on 29 carries for the back-ups. Obviously, losing Graham would be a tough deal.
*** Pat Bostick, who has struggled this training camp, looked good. The redshirt junior, working with the second-stringers, completed 9 of 15 pass attempts for 163 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Bostick had scores of 51 yards to Ed Tinker, 43 yards to Chris Burns and 4 yards to Todd Thomas, while accounting for half of the Pitt offense’s touchdowns on the day.
Bostick wasn’t perfect. He was sacked twice, and tripped over his own feet dropping back to pass on one play, but it was a bright spot for his camp.
“I thought Pat Bostick had a good day,” coach Dave Wannstedt said. “That was good to see.”
*** Five different players caught touchdown passes – Ed Tinker, Chris Burns, Todd Thomas, Drew Carswell and Salath Williams, who caught two. That’s three true freshman and one redshirt freshman receiver, plus a sophomore running back (Burns), making plays.
*** Hendricks had a team-high seven tackles. Freshman Aaron Donald had five tackles, all solo, and one sack. Dan Mason, Justin Hargrove and Chas Alecxih also had sacks. Mark Giubilato, a walk-on freshman linebacker, had the only interception of the day, when freshman Anthony Gonzalez made a poor pass and Giubilato went the other way.