10/27/15 - (ILB) - Matt Galambos, Sr, 6-1, 240 OCT 26 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Matt Galambos, Pitt, LB, Jr., 6-2, 240, Collingdale, Pa.,... Galambos keyed Pitt's victory at Syracuse from his middle linebacker position and as an unlikely pass receiver. The junior had three tackles for loss and an interception to go with five total stops. His interception came with Pitt trailing 17-13 late in the third quarter and the Orange threatening at the Panthers' 42. He also had a key tackle for loss near the goal line as Pitt held Syracuse to a field goal in the second quarter and a key stop on third-and-1 later in the game. Galambos played a role in the Panthers' game-winning drive that covered 19 plays and ate up the final 9:20 on the clock, catching a 12-yard pass on a fake punt on fourth-and-7 from the Pitt 48 with less than five minutes remaining. Per ESPN.com, Galambos is the only linebacker in the nation since 2006 to record an interception and a reception in the same game. - ACC Football
10/27/15 - (WR) - *Tyler Boyd, Jr, 6-1, 197 OCT 26 ACC RECEIVER OF THE WEEK: Tyler Boyd, Pitt, Jr., WR, 6-2, 200, Clairton, Pa.,...The versatile Boyd completed a 38-yard pass, rushed six times for 34 yards and had a career-high 12 receptions for 93 yards in the Panthers’ 23-20 win at Syracuse. Boyd accounted for nearly 40 percent of Pitt’s total yardage (165 of 427 yards) in the win, and also had three kickoff returns for a total of 75 yards. Boyd became the first Division I player since UTEP’s Lorne Sam in 2007 to record 20 yards passing, rushing and receiving in consecutive games. Boyd, who has already established himself as Pitt’s all-time leading pass catcher with 216 receptions in just two and a half seasons, leads the ACC this season in receptions (8.8) and receiving yards (81.5) per game. - ACC Football
10/26/15 - (K) - Chris Blewitt, Sr, 5-09, 190 Pat Narduzzi passed the audition. So did his punter, and kicker. The coach of No. 25 Pittsburgh displayed his disgust by walking down the sideline wondering why his team was unable to convert a third down play with the score tied and time running down. But the Panthers never planned to punt the ball away to Syracuse. Instead, the first-year coach called for a fake punt, Ryan Winslow hit linebacker Matt Galambos for 12 yards and a first down and Chris Blewitt kicked a 25-yard field goal on the final play for a 23-20 win on Saturday.
"I did a good job acting," said Narduzzi, who was on the Rhode Island staff with Syracuse coach Scott Shafer in the 1990s. "I know Scott was probably looking over, so I walked down the sideline - how come we couldn't get that first down? Didn't matter where on the field. I had a lot of confidence in that punt fake." After the first down pass from punter Winslow to Galambos, Qadree Ollison took care of the rest with 26 yards on seven straight carries to set up the winning kick. The Panthers (6-1, 4-0 ACC) have now won four of five on the road, with their only loss at Iowa on a 57-yard field goal on the final play of the game. - AP Sports
10/19/15 - (K) - Chris Blewitt, Sr, 5-09, 190 OCT 19 ACC SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK: Chris Blewitt, Pitt, Sr., PK, 5-9, 190, Alexandria, Va.,...Blewitt was the hero of Pitt’s game at Georgia Tech, kicking a school-record 56-yard field goal with 1:11 left to give the Panthers a 31-28 win. The kick eclipsed the 21-year-old Pitt record held by David Merrick (54 yards vs. Texas in 1994). Blewitt was 4-for-4 on kicking efforts (3-for-3 on PATs, plus his lone, successful record field goal attempt). He also helped the Panthers in the battle for field position battle by registering four touchbacks on six kickoffs. - ACC Football
10/19/15 - (WR) - *Tyler Boyd, Jr, 6-1, 197 Quarterback Nate Peterman had no doubt Pittsburgh would keep grinding out the clock late in the fourth quarter. "Shove-it-down-their-throats drive," he said. "It had to be that one." Peterman threw a career-high three touchdown passes and Chris Blewitt kicked a 56-yard field goal in the closing minutes to help the Panthers beat Georgia Tech 31-28 on Saturday. Tyler Boyd had eight catches with two touchdowns to become Pitt's career leading receiver, and the Panthers burned all but 1 minute, 4 seconds of the final 8:13 with a 14-play drive that ended on Blewitt's school record-long kick.
Pitt (5-1, 3-0 ACC) is undefeated in its first three conference games for the first time since 2010. Georgia Tech (2-5, 0-4 ACC) has lost five straight, its longest single-season skid since it went 1-10 in 1994. The Jackets, who began the season as favorites to win the league's Coastal Division, must regroup before hosting No. 11 Florida State next weekend. "We had some real screw-ups on offense, basically when the game got tight," Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. "All freshmen. So it's tough, and the way the game was going, you didn't want to miss your turn." - AP Sports
10/12/15 - (FS) - Jordan Whitehead, So, 5-10, 185 OCT 12 ACC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Jordan Whitehead, Pitt, CB, Fr., 5-11, 185, Aliquippa, Pa.,...Whitehead collected a game-high 12 tackles (seven solo) and was a disruptive force defending the run and the pass in the Panthers’ win over Virginia. The true freshman leads Pitt’s nationally ranked defense with 41 stops on the season. He is averaging 8.2 tackles per game, which ranks ninth (tied) in the ACC. Whitehead is the only freshman among the league’s top-24 tacklers. - ACC Football
10/12/15 - (ILB) - Matt Galambos, Sr, 6-1, 240 OCT 12 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Matt Galambos, Pitt, LB, Jr., 6-2, 240, Collingdale, Pa.,...Galambos had two quarterback sacks and a momentum-changing interception return in Pitt’s 26-19 victory over Virginia. With Pitt holding a 17-10 halftime lead, Virginia opened the second half by driving to the Panthers’ 34-yard line. Galambos ended the threat by perfectly jumping a route, intercepting the pass and returning for 51 yards to set up what proved to be the decisive Pitt touchdown. The interception return was the longest by a Pitt player in five years. Galambos’ two sacks went for 15 yards in losses and included an 11-yard sack on Virginia’s final possession. He had five total stops on the afternoon to help Pitt move to 4-1 for the first time since 2009 and 2-0 in ACC play for the first time since joining the league in 2013. - ACC Football
10/10/15 - (QB) - Nathan Peterman, rSr, 6-2, 225 Junior quarterback Nate Peterman passed for 222 yards and two touchdowns as Pittsburgh recorded a 26-19 victory over Virginia in ACC play at Pittsburgh. Junior receiver Tyler Boyd and junior tight end Scott Orndoff had touchdown receptions for the Panthers (4-1, 2-0). Redshirt freshman Qadree Ollison rushed for a touchdown and sophomore running back Chris James gained 94 yards on 11 rushes. Junior quarterback Matt Johns was 17-of-33 passing for 209 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Cavaliers (1-4, 0-1). Virginia allowed four sacks, including one for a key safety. Johns connected on a 32-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Canaan Severin to pull Virginia within seven with 5:50 left and the defense stopped the Panthers to get the ball back. Johns converted on fourth-and-23 by hitting senior receiver J.T. Thorpe for 32 yards with 1:40 remaining but failed on another fourth-down throw with 28 seconds left. Pittsburgh led by seven at halftime and doubled the advantage when Peterman hit Boyd on an 8-yard scoring throw with 11:25 left in the third quarter. - The Sports Xchange
10/05/15 - (FS) - Terrish Webb, Sr, 5-11, 190 OCT 5 ACC CO-DEFENSIVE BACK – Terrish Webb, Pitt, Jr., S, 5-11, 190, Clairton, Pa.,...Webb collected four tackles defended two passes and had an interception in helping Pitt limit Virginia Tech to 100 yards total offense and 91 yards passing in Saturday’s 17-13 ACC road win. Webb’s pick came with just under seven minutes to go in the game and helped the Panthers protect their four-point lead. It marked the third consecutive game that Webb had a hand in a turnover. He had interceptions in back-to-back games (versus Virginia Tech and Iowa) and forced a fumble at Akron on Sept. 12. - ACC Football
10/03/15 - (RB) - Qadree Ollison, rSo, 6-1, 230 Pittsburgh redshirt freshman running back Qadree Ollison rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown in a 17-13 victory over Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Va., in an Atlantic Coast Conference game on Saturday. The Panthers (3-1, 1-0) won for the sixth time in seven meetings with the Hokies, but this was their first victory on Tech's home field since 2002. Ollison ran for gains of 43 and 25 yards on the first two plays of the second half. He crossed the goal line on the second carry to put Pitt ahead 17-7 with 14:15 remaining in the third quarter. The Panthers defense held the Hokies (2-3, 0-1) to 100 total yards. Pitt sacked Tech quarterback Brenden Motley seven times and recorded three interceptions. The Hokies managed two second-half field goals by Joey Slye, one from 43 yards with 6:03 remaining in the third quarter and the other from 48 yards early in the fourth quarter. Pitt scored 10 straight points to start the game. - The Sports Xchange
09/24/15 - (QB) - Nathan Peterman, rSr, 6-2, 225 Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi is sticking with Nate Peterman at quarterback. Narduzzi said Wednesday that Peterman will make a second straight start next week when the Panthers (2-1) travel to Virginia Tech. Peterman, a graduate transfer from Tennessee, completed 20 of 29 passes for 209 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions last Saturday in a 27-24 loss to Iowa. Narduzzi said Peterman played a "very, very solid game" against the Hawkeyes. Peterman led Pitt on a 75-yard scoring drive to tie the game with 52 seconds remaining before the Hawkeyes pulled it out on a last-second kick. Chad Voytik, whose 15-start streak ended against the Hawkeyes, will remain the backup. Voytik completed 1 of 2 passes in a brief appearance last Saturday. - AP Sports
09/21/15 - (WR) - *Tyler Boyd, Jr, 6-1, 197 SEPT 21 ACC RECEIVER OF THE WEEK: Tyler Boyd, Pitt, Jr., WR, 6-2, 200, Clairton, Pa.,...Boyd had 10 receptions for 131 yards, including the game-tying touchdown catch with 52 seconds left in the Panthers’ 27-24 road loss at Iowa. Boyd had three catches for 32 yards on the game-tying drive, including one that converted a fourth down. With his second consecutive game with 10 or more catches, Boyd moved into second all-time at Pitt with 184 career receptions and is only 18 shy of the record held by Devin Street (202 receptions from 2010-13). Boyd, who posted the 12th 100-yard receiving game of his 28-game collegiate career, is the nation’s active career leader in receptions per game (6.57), and ranks third in receiving yards per game (95.0) and all-purpose yards per game (140.89). He is the ACC leader in each of those categories. - ACC Football
09/14/15 - (DT) - Tyrique Jarrett, Sr, 6-2, 335 SEPT 14 ACC CO-DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK: Tyrique Jarrett, Pitt, Jr., DT, 6-3, 335, Pittsburgh, Pa.,...Jarrett spearheaded a Pitt defensive effort that limited Akron to just 110 total yards in Saturday’s 24-7 win. The Panthers’ junior had three tackles for losses (eight yards) among his five total stops. When he was not making tackles, Jarrett was a disruptive force by plugging up running lanes. He played a major role in the Zips netting just 47 rush yards on 24 carries (just less than 2.0 yards per carry.). - ACC Football
09/13/15 - (QB) - Nathan Peterman, rSr, 6-2, 225 PITTSBURGH (2-0, 0-0)...Game: Pittsburgh 24, Akron 7. The Panthers turned to freshman RB Qadree Ollison for 81 yards on the ground and a touchdown in the road victory. Wet conditions might have limited the offenses, but at least the Panthers were strong on defense. Takeaway: The Panthers might feel they're already ahead of schedule after avenging a 2014 loss by defeating Akron. But they'll need more development from key players as they move on after the stunning news after the opener that standout RB James Conner is out for the season. QB Nate Peterman, a redshirt junior, threw for his first touchdown pass in the game against Akron.
With that, it's clear how many unproven players the Panthers will be counting on in the coming weeks. Peterman is a transfer from Tennessee, so he has worked his way into the quarterback mix alongside incumbent QB Chad Voytik. This could be a bit of a risky maneuver by first-year coach Pat Narduzzi, who is pointing toward a two-quarterback system for the time being. The offense will need to be more productive. Without Conner, there might be new avenues explored because the Panthers have been underwhelming despite picking up a pair of victories. Next: at Iowa, Sept. 19. - The Sports Xchange
09/13/15 - (WR) - *Tyler Boyd, Jr, 6-1, 197 FIVE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM WEEK 2 IN THE ACC: 4. Pittsburgh could struggle on offense without the expected lineup, particularly with the loss of RB James Conner for the rest of the season. - The Sports Xchange
09/13/15 - (QB) - Nathan Peterman, rSr, 6-2, 225 Nate Peterman passed for a career-high 148 yards and threw his first college touchdown Saturday as Pittsburgh pulled away for a 24-7 victory over the Zips. Mid-American Conference member Akron stunned the Panthers 21-10 last Sept. 27 at Heinz Field, but could not repeat the feat at home. "Last year, it was the upset, so this year we had to get them back," Pitt defensive end Rori Blair said. "That's all we talked about - we want to eat, we want to beat them - because we were so hungry. Now that we got Akron back, we want to eat all the way to the ACC championship." Tennessee transfer Peterman completed 12 of 17 attempts for 148 yards, including an 18-yard score to J.P. Holtz, after relieving starter Chad Voytik in the second quarter.
Voytik went 6 of 8 for 32 yards, but Panthers coach Pat Narduzzi said he will continue to use a two-quarterback rotation next week at Iowa. "I think we've got two really good quarterbacks, so why wouldn't use both of them to help us," Narduzzi said. "Last week (in a 45-37 win over Youngstown State), we went with Chad More. Today, we just felt like Nathan was a little hotter." Redshirt freshman Qadree Ollison rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown as Pitt (2-0) outplayed the Zips (0-2) at waterlogged InfoCision Stadium. A soaking rain began two hours before kickoff and continued the entire game. - AP Sports
09/09/15 - (OLB) - Nicholas Grigsby, rSr, 6-0, 220 SEPT 8 ACC LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK: Nicholas Grigsby, Pitt, OLB, Sr.-r, 6-1, 220, Trotwood, Ohio,...Grigsby delivered a a high-impact day in the Panthers’ 45-37 win over Youngstown State, compiling 10 tackles, two quarterback sacks and three total tackles for loss – all career highs. He also broke up a pass and registered one quarterback hurry. Grigsby’s TFLs resulted in 19 total lost yards. - ACC Football
09/09/15 - (CB) - Avonte Maddox, Jr, 5-09, 170 SEPT 8 ACC SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK: Avonte Maddox, Pitt, So., DB, 5-9, 170, Detroit, Mich.,...Maddox made the most crucial special teams play of the game in helping Pitt turn back persistent Youngstown State. Following a YSU touchdown interception return that pulled the Penguins to within 17-13 with 48 seconds to go until halftime, Maddox took the ensuing kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown to put the Panthers back up by double digits. It marked Pitt’s first kickoff return for a touchdown in four years. Maddox, who battled leg cramps during the game, averaged 46.7 yards on three kick returns (140 yards). - ACC Football
09/09/15 - (RB) - Qadree Ollison, rSo, 6-1, 230 SEPT 8 ACC ROOKIE OF THE WEEK: Qadree Ollison, Pitt, r-Fr., RB, 6-2, 230, Niagara Falls, N.Y.,...Ollison ripped off 207 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries – all in the second half – after entering Saturday’s 45-37 win over Youngstown State following injuries to James Conner and Chris James. Ollison set a Pitt record for rushing yards by a freshman in a season opener (the prior mark was held by Dion Lewis, who had 129 against Youngstown State in 2009). Ollison’s first career carry was a 46-yard sprint and his third carry was a 71-yard touchdown. He later added a 52-yard run and finished the game averaging 12.9 yards per carry. - ACC Football
09/09/15 - (RB) - James Conner, rJr, 6-2, 240 Pitt RB James Conner's NFL projection on hold after tearing MCL...The 2014 ACC Player of the Year, Pittsburgh junior running back James Conner suffered a torn MCL on Saturday in the Panthers season opening win over Youngstown State. The injury requires surgery and he is expected to miss the remainder of the 2015 season. Conner is currently ranked as the No. 5 draft-eligible running back prospect by NFLDraftScout.com and a projected top-100 draft pick. But the knee injury puts his draft status on hold. “I greatly appreciate everyone's support and well wishes,” Conner said in a statement released by the school. “This is a temporary setback and I'm going to work even harder to bounce back. Even though I won't be able to play this season, I'm going to be right beside my teammates and help them every way I can to have a great season.”
At 6-2 and 240 pounds, Conner is more of a throwback-style runner, using his brute power and toughness to run over defenders and break tackles. He does have deceiving athleticism to occasionally win the edge and make defenders miss in space, although he is a player who will do most of his damage as an inside runner. He has only nine catches in his career, but was expected to be used more as a receiver this season. Conner, who finished the 2014 season with a school-record 1,765 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns, has already touched the ball 461 times in his career and after another physical season in 2015, many expected him to jump to the NFL while there is still tread on his tires. But the knee injury puts his NFL future in limbo as he'll need to decide whether to return to Pitt in 2016 or make the jump to the next level despite missing the season with an injury. - Dane Brugler, NFLDraftScout.com
09/09/15 - (RB) - James Conner, rJr, 6-2, 240 The play looked innocent on tape. James Conner took the handoff from Chad Voytik, ran to his right and lunged for a 9-yard gain and a Pittsburgh first down. Moments later, the reigning ACC Player of the Year limped toward the sideline favoring his right knee. A day later, what appeared to be a minor tweak turned into something far more serious. The junior will miss the rest of the season after tearing the MCL in the knee, a shocking blow for a program in search of good mojo under first-year coach Pat Narduzzi and a player with designs on heading to the NFL next spring. Conner will undergo surgery sometime this week after tests on Sunday revealed the extent of the damage.
"They say if you can find a path with no obstacles it probably doesn't lead anywhere," Conner posted on Instagram on Monday. "I came too far and beat adversity before in life and I'm ready to do it again." Narduzzi initially held Conner out of the remainder of Pitt's 45-37 victory over Youngstown State as a precaution, saying Conner could have gone back in if the Panthers were facing an ACC opponent. Conner briefly wrapped his knee in ice after getting hurt, but ditched it after halftime while serving as a de facto cheerleader and mentor while redshirt freshman Qadree Ollison ran for 207 yards and a score as Pitt hung on in Narduzzi's head coaching debut. - AP Sports
09/09/15 - (RB) - James Conner, rJr, 6-2, 240 Pittsburgh running back Qadree Ollison insists he has no problem sitting third on the depth chart behind James Conner. Conner, after all, is a star and the reigning ACC Player of the Year. Ollison is a redshirt freshman simply trying to find his way. That way led to the school record book on Saturday and almost certainly a higher spot in the pecking order. With Conner limited with a minor right knee injury and wide receiver Tyler Boyd serving a one-game suspension, Ollison ran for 207 yards and a score as the Panthers and first-year coach Pat Narduzzi narrowly avoided a second-half meltdown in a 45-37 victory over Youngstown State.
"Coach Narduzzi is always preaching next man up and we always preach that in the running back room," Ollison said. "We're all about equal to each other. We believe anybody can go in there and get the job done if James goes down." Conner scored on runs of 13 and 4 yards in the first quarter before tweaking his right knee. Narduzzi held the junior out as a precaution, relying instead on the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Ollison, whose rushing total was the highest ever by a Panther in his debut. Pitt needed just about every one of those yards to avoid being upset by the Penguins for the second time in four years. Youngstown State stunned Pitt in the 2012 opener to spoil Paul Chryst's first game in charge with the Panthers. - AP Sports
08/31/15 - (RB) - James Conner, rJr, 6-2, 240 The quote is saved on James Conner's phone, a permanent reminder of the stakes. He sees it whenever he logs in, meaning the running back's eyes glaze over it dozens of times a day. Its presence is comforting in a way, a mental security blanket just in case the Pittsburgh star begins to get ahead of himself. It reads "Don't give up what you want most for what you want now." It replaced Ray Lewis as his screensaver a while ago, when the big kid with the ever-churning legs figured out his destiny lay in trying to run opponents over, not run them down. The NFL became a real, living, breathing thing to Conner in 2014 when he mashed his way to 1,765 yards rushing, 26 total touchdowns and the ACC Player of the Year award. He had always been good. Growing up in Erie, Pa. with four older brothers, Conner always believed he was tough. He had to be if he wanted to become something more than the family mascot. What took time for him to believe is that he could be special.
At some point last fall, maybe it was when he treated three Duke players with the same lack of respect a 3-year-old shows for his toys while throwing them aside for his third and final score in an overtime loss on Nov. 1, the switch flipped. He was no longer a prodigy but a full-blown player. "I looked around and I'm putting up numbers with other great backs," Conner said. "It sort of became like, 'Now you need to handle yourself more professionally, take things more seriously and you've got a real opportunity.'" Hence the daily reminder just a swipe of his finger away. "A lot of people do things for the moment instead of thinking long term," Conner said. "I've been trying to find that balance." - AP Sports
08/11/15 - (WR) - *Tyler Boyd, Jr, 6-1, 197 Pittsburgh wide receiver Tyler Boyd says a DUI that's costing him an appearance in the season opener was a "real dumb mistake." The two-time 1,000-yard receiver with potential of being picked in the top 10 in the NFL draft says Monday as training camp opened that he doesn't want to find himself in the same situation again. "We're always going to make mistakes," Boyd said. "One thing I strive for and the people around me always keep in my head, you never make the same mistake twice." Boyd is serving a 12 month probation. He was charged with DUI on June 16. Boyd is the first receiver in ACC history to post 1,000-yard receiving seasons as a freshman and sophomore. He was named to the All-ACC preseason first team last month.
Defensive lineman Rori Blair will also miss the Sept. 5 opener against Youngstown State after being charged with DUI and driving at unsafe speeds. He led the Panthers with 5 1/2 sacks last season. Authorities say he was driving 117 mph late at night in March. Head coach Pat Narduzzi did not announce the suspensions until last week, but made clear the team knew about the discipline earlier in the summer. Narduzzi said his philosophy in these circumstances is to immediately discipline players but keep the focus on the games. "You only get 12 opportunities and every one is precious," Narduzzi said. "To miss a game, that's all we need to talk about. We're on to the season." - AP Sports
08/06/15 - (WR) - *Tyler Boyd, Jr, 6-1, 197 Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi has announced wide receiver Tyler Boyd and defensive end Rori Blair are suspended for the Sept. 5 opener against Youngstown State. Boyd, a 1,000-yard receiver in each of his first two seasons at Pitt, was charged with DUI in June. The All-Atlantic Coast Conference first-team selection was pulled over in June south of Pittsburgh. Boyd told police he had two shots of alcohol. Blair, who led the Panthers with 5.5 sacks in 2014, was charged with driving under the influence of a drug after he was clocked at 117 mph in March. Narduzzi said the players will be subject to additional internal discipline. The first-year coach said the situations are "very disappointing" and that both players expressed remorse. - AP Sports