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July 2013 Archives


The court at the Petersen Events Center is being updated to reflect our new home -- the ACC. It's almost time for the competitions to begin! 

The ACC Digital Network gave a shout out to Pitt and our new court addition on today's edition of "The ACC Now."


Current Pitt football players and former Clairton stars returned home this weekend to conduct a clinic for the area's youth. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was there to get the reaction.

If you missed today's coverage in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Tribune Review and, we have them for you here. With training camp just 11 days away, we look to bring you more Pitt football content in the coming days. Keep checking back!

Pitt Football Interviews - July 25, 2013

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2013 ACC Football Kickoff Coverage

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ACC Football Kickoff Coverage

The 2013 ACC Football Kickoff is set for Sunday, July 21 and Monday, July 22 at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. The event brings together local, regional and national media with ACC student-athletes, coaches, administrators and bowl partners for the unofficial beginning of football season.

ACC fans can experience the ACC Football Kickoff in a variety of ways. Coverage of the 2013 event will include live video streams on and social media coverage with the #ACCKickoff hashtag. Click here for a complete list of ways to experience the 2013 Kickoff.

Social Media Coverage:
Pitt Bullet @GoPittFootball - Twitter | #PittACC | @GoPittFootball - Instagram
Pitt Bullet @thACCfootball | #ACCKickoff

Live Streaming Video:
Pitt Bullet The ACC Football Kickoff Commissioner's Forum: Sunday, July 21 at 12:30 p.m.
Pitt Bullet Player Interviews: Sunday, July 21 from 1:30 until 6 p.m.
Pitt Bullet ACC Football Head Coach Interviews: Monday, July 22 from 2 until 6 p.m.

Sunday - July 21, 2013:
acc football group shot

Pitt Bullet Devin Street hits the driving range
Pitt Bullet First look at the ACC patch
Pitt Bullet Pitt and Syracuse at the #ACCKickoff event
Pitt Bullet Devin Street and Aaron Donald Rap and Beat Box In Photo Booth
Pitt Bullet ACC One-On-One: Devin Street, Pitt
Pitt Bullet Devin Street and Aaron Donald's Message to Pitt Fans

Monday- July 22, 2013:
ACC Football Coaches

Chryst ACC Kickoff

Pitt Bullet ACC Coaches Group Photo
Pitt Bullet Coach Chryst with Devin Street and Aaron Donald
Pitt Bullet Coach Chryst Interviewed on the ACCDN
Pitt Bullet Coach Chryst Media Interviews

Pitt Football vs. Georgia Tech Preview

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Georgia Tech Preview
November 2, 2013 - TBA
Bobby Dodd Stadium - Atlanta, GA
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Founded 1885
Location Atlanta, GA
Nickname Yellow Jackets
Mascot Buzz the Yellow Jacket
Traditions Ramblin' Wreck
National Championships 4
Consensus All-Americans 21
College Football Hall of Famers 15
Pro Football Hall of Famers 2
First Round NFL Draft Picks 11

By RJ Sepich

Series History
The Panthers lead the all-time series against the Yellow Jackets, 5-2. Pitt has won all five regular season matchups versus Georgia Tech, while the Yellow Jackets triumphed both times when the two programs met in the Sugar Bowl and Gator Bowl in back-to-back seasons during the 1950s.

The Last Time
Pitt and Georgia Tech last met on Sept. 18, 1976 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. After dominating Notre Dame the previous week, the Panthers earned another convincing road victory by beating the Yellow Jackets, 48-14. However, the second game of Pitt's most recent national championship-winning season got off to a worrying beginning as starting quarterback Robert Haygood left the game with a severe knee injury, but reserve passer Matt Cavanaugh stepped in and threw for 117 yards, including two scoring strikes to Gordon Jones. Eventual Heisman Trophy-winner Tony Dorsett rushed for 113 yards and found the end zone three times.

2012 Georgia Tech Season Review
Head Coach: Paul Johnson (fifth season)
2012-13 Record: 7-7, lost to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game and defeated USC in the Sun Bowl
Pitt Bullet Beat North Carolina 68-50 in the highest scoring game (118 total points) in ACC history.
Pitt Bullet Beat Virginia 56-20, rushing for 461 yards on 50 attempts.

The Johnson File
Johnson Georgia Tech

Coming off his first bowl victory in five attempts with the Yellow Jackets, Paul Johnson enters his sixth season as the Georgia Tech head football coach. The man who led Georgia Southern to two Division I-AA championships and turned around the Navy program has also been a success at Georgia Tech, steering the Yellow Jackets to five bowls, two ACC Championship Games and an Orange Bowl berth. His 148-65 career record in 16 seasons as a head coach is a testament that his old-school triple-option offense can still succeed at any level of modern college football. A man who didn't play college football and usually goes what's trendy and popular, Paul Johnson hopes to continue to prove naysayers wrong with a veteran Georgia Tech squad that has high hopes in 2013.

Looking at the Yellow Jackets

Offense: 4 starters lost, 7 returning
Georgia Tech Preview

1. Lee set to become starter - After receiving sparse playing time at quarterback last season, redshirt sophomore Vad Lee appears to be the favorite to become the new Georgia Tech quarterback following Tevin Washington's graduation. The athletic Lee posted more than 1,100 yards of total offense and scored 13 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman, with his big-play ability allowing Coach Paul Johnson to use him in certain situations. Considering his obvious talent, Lee could become a star this season if he improves his decision-making skills to effectively run Georgia Tech's complicated offense every play.

2. Experience at every other position - Lee could be the only non-upperclassman to start for the Georgia Tech offense this season. Running backs David Sims and Robert Godhigh and offensive linemen Ray Beno, Will Jackson and Jay Finch are all projected senior starters, while running back B.J. Bostic, wide receivers Corey Dennis and Darren Waller and linemen Shaquille Mason and Morgan Bailey could all start as juniors. That amount of experience around Lee should make the quarterback's difficult challenge of directing the triple option just a little bit easier - and that much harder for opposing defenses.

Defense: 3 starters lost, 8 returning
1. Senior-laden unit seeks consistency - With as many as eight defensive projected starters entering their senior seasons, the Yellow Jackets' defense will also be an experienced group. In 2012, the GT defense never found a rhythm; solid performances against Virginia Tech, Maryland, Florida State and USC were negated by hapless showings versus Miami, Middle Tennessee State, Clemson, BYU, North Carolina and Georgia. Overall, this experienced defense should improve on the 28.3 points per game it allowed last season.

Keys to Victory
1. Avoid big plays - When trying to stop a team that runs the triple option, limiting big plays is always a must. One missed assignment or one missed tackle can lead to an easy touchdown for the opposition. Fortunately for Pitt, the Panthers face Navy the week before the Georgia Tech matchup, so Coach Paul Chryst's defense should be accustomed to the triple option before the key ACC clash against the Yellow Jackets. But the Pitt defense must be ready every play because Paul Johnson's Georgia Tech version of triple option includes more formations and more passing than it did while he was at Navy.

Georgia Tech Preview

2. Don't let the crowd intimidate - By this point in the season, Pitt will have already traveled to Duke, Virginia Tech and Navy for away games, so handling the crowd noise and atmosphere that ACC fans create shouldn't be a problem for the Panthers. But with a homecoming crowd of 50,000-plus likely to fill Bobby Dodd Stadium to see a new ACC opponent, Pitt would benefit greatly from quieting the rowdy Ramblin' Wreck faithful with an early big play.

Check back next week for a preview of Pitt's week 9 opponent, Notre Dame.

Possibly Pitt's most storied head football coach in history will be profiled by Raycom Sports' Havoline Football Saturdays television program this weekend.

The Hall of Fame playing and coaching career of Johnny Majors, who led Heisman Trophy winner Tony Dorsett and the rest of the Panthers to an undefeated season and a national championship in 1976, will feature in a two-part segment during the weekly show.

The program will be broadcast locally by WTAE on Saturday, July 20 at 2 p.m.

Football Saturdays, a show now in its ninth season of syndication, aims to "provide viewers around the country with an insider's look at the names, traditions, and stories that make college football so special."

Full television listings for Havoline Football Saturdays can be found here:

Pitt freshman tight end Scott Orndoff made an appearance on Sportsradio 93.7 The Fan on Thursday morning and had a lot to say about being a new guy, the freshman class' chemistry and their trip to the Mel Blount Youth Home. 

Today is the first day fans are able to purchase and renew their Pitt women's basketball tickets for the 2013-14 season -- the Panthers' first in ACC action. Get an insider's look at the team and new staff with head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio at a team workout.

Pitt Football In The News: July 15, 2013

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Football in the News Blog

Pitt Bullet Bennett dreaming big
Isaac Bennett is lined up deep in the backfield, a few yards behind his quarterback. Over 65,000 fans are packed into Heinz Field, most at a fever pitch for the most anticipated football game in recent Pitt history.

Bennett looks up from his running back position and sees the garnet and gold Florida State defenders on the other side of the ball. He hears the signals and sees the snap in front of him. Bennett starts forward and takes the handoff, he bursts through hole and sprints, untouched, through the defense and all the way to the end zone.

This is the point where Bennett usually snaps back to reality. He's sitting in class or maybe even in the film room at Pitt's football complex. Kickoff against the Seminoles is still more than a month away, but it's the driving force behind every weight Bennett lifts and every sprint he runs this offseason.

"That's all I think about," Bennett said. "Night and day." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pitt Bullet Pitt freshmen impressed by work of Blount Home
For the seventh consecutive year Friday, Pitt sent its freshman class to Claysville, Washington County, where the Mel Blount Youth Home and its namesake founder have been helping rescue young men from troubled lives for 25 years.

Thirty players worked with the 10 current residents (Steelers rookies did the same last month), teaching football fundamentals while trying to keep up with TiAnda on an obstacle course that overlooks most of the farm's 303 acres.

More importantly, they served as role models for young men. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pitt Football vs. Navy Preview

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Navy Header Pitt Live Wire
OCTOBER 26, 2013 - 1:00PM
Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium - Annapolis, MD
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Founded 1845
Location Annapolis, MD
Nickname Midshipmen
Mascot Bill the Goat
Traditions Brigade of Midshipmen
National Championships 1
First Team All-Americans 34
College Football Hall of Famers 19
Pro Football Hall of Famers 1
First Round NFL Draft Picks 0

By RJ Sepich

Series History
The Panthers lead the all-time series against the Midshipmen 22-13-3, with Pitt winning six of the past seven contests.

The Last Time
Pitt and Navy last met on Sept. 19, 2009 at Heinz Field. The Panthers won the game 27-14 to improve to 3-0 on the season as running backs Dion Lewis and Ray Graham both found the end zone and quarterback Bill Stull efficiently ran the offense, throwing for 245 yards and a touchdown. The Pitt defense stifled the vaunted Navy rushing attack, holding the Midshipmen to just 129 yards on 46 attempts (2.8 yards per carry).

2012 Navy Season Review
Head Coach: Ken Niumatalolo (fifth season)
2012-13 Record: 8-5, lost to Arizona State in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl
Pitt Bullet Beat Air Force 28-21 (OT) and Army 17-13 to regain the Commander in Chief's Trophy.
Pitt Bullet Beat Indiana 31-30 by scoring 10 points in the last six minutes.

The Niumatalolo File
Preview Navy

A former Hawai'i quarterback who also spent several years as an offensive assistant at Hawai'i, Navy and UNLV, Ken Niumatalolo was named head football coach at Navy after his mentor Paul Johnson left for Georgia Tech following the 2007 regular season. Now, having already coached in more bowl games than any other coach in Navy football history, Niumatalolo enters his sixth season at the helm of the Midshipmen's storied program. After playing and coaching under Johnson's distinctive triple-option offensive attack for two decades, Niumatalolo was the no-brainer candidate to follow Johnson's successful tenure at Navy. With a 40-26 overall record, five bowl berths, two wins over Notre Dame and, perhaps most importantly, a perfect 5-0 record in Army-Navy games, Niumatalolo's time at Navy has produced one of the best stretches in recent Midshipmen football history.

Looking at the Midshipmen

Offense: 5 starters lost, 6 returning
Navy Preview

1. Reynolds the decision maker - Every effective triple option attack needs a composed man under center to take the snap, read the defense and decide what to do with the football. Sophomore Keenan Reynolds is that man for Navy. The diminutive quarterback had a solid freshman year, passing for 898 yards, rushing for 649 yards and scoring 19 total touchdowns. Although he struggled with fumbles early last season, Reynolds improved to lead Navy to eight wins and the nation's No. 6 rushing offense (278.5 yards per game). A year of experience should make him even better in 2013.

2. Small, inexperienced offensive line - With only one senior and one 300-pounder on the Navy offensive line, Aaron Donald and the rest of the Pitt defensive line should feel confident that they can get in the backfield and disrupt Reynolds. However, the athletic, undersized Midshipmen line feeds on tired defenders when Navy sustains long offensive drives. The Panthers' defense must get off the field on third downs to stay fresh.

Defense: 4 starters lost, 7 returning
1. Hoping to improve - The Navy defense struggled at times last season, allowing 30 points or more on five occasions and conceding more than 400 yards per game. Returning seven starters should mean that the Midshipmen will improve on that side of the ball, but the Pitt offense should still be able to create some mismatches against Navy defenders.

Keys to Victory
1. Stop the triple option - When facing Coach Ken Niumatalolo's Navy squad, stopping the triple option is the main goal for every team. The quarterback, full back and running back must all be accounted for on every down. The Pitt defensive line and linebackers need to play well each snap against the undersized Midshipmen offensive line; any lapses of concentration could lead to a quick Navy touchdown.

Navy Preview

2. Calm the crowd - With a boisterous homecoming crowd likely to fill the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium for this 1 p.m. kickoff, Pitt needs to get off to a good start. An early touchdown for the Panthers would likely silence the 30,000-plus Navy fans, and the Pitt defense must also come ready to play to ensure that the Midshipmen's rushing game doesn't get into an early rhythm.

Check back for a preview of Pitt's week 8 opponent, Georgia Tech.

Pitt Football In The News: July 9, 2013

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Aaron Donald Devin Street

Pitt Bullet Pitt expects more from All-American candidate Donald
"One month before the start of Pitt training camp, preseason honors are pouring in for Donald, who has been named All-American by two magazines (Lindy's and Phil Steele) and All-ACC by those two plus Athlon and Sporting News. 
"I'm excited about it, but I still have to go out there and play football," he said." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pitt Bullet Receiver Street trying to set example for Pitt
"Senior wide receiver Devin Street is trying to lay the foundation of culture change on the Pitt football team. A three-year starter who's on the regional covers of Sporting News and Athlon, Street has been in the middle of coaching turnover and turmoil over the past two seasons, but he said the time for making excuses is past." - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pitt Bullet One month 'til training Camp
"We've officially reached the one-month countdown for the opening of Pitt's training camp for the 2013 season. Four weeks from today, the Panthers will open up camp on the South Side (and eight weeks from yesterday they'll open up the 2013 season in primetime against Florida State)." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pitt Football Interviews - July 8, 2013

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What They're Saying: Pitt in the ACC

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what they're saying acc

Pitt is officially a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference! Check out what people are saying about the transition on Twitter.


Today Pitt enters a new era as we enter the Atlantic Coast Conference. There are many exciting events to celebrate this monumental day including our celebration at Stage AE on the North Shore of Pittsburgh tonight at 8 p.m. Admission is free for this night of entertainment and fireworks, including a special visit from Pitt legend Larry Fitzgerald.

This morning, ACC commissioner John Swofford penned a letter to all institutions and fans. Additionally, fans are able to watch the days events online beginning with the ACC Membership Press Conference at 2 p.m. and the NASDAQ Closing Bell ceremony at 3:45 p.m.

We hope you'll celebrate this historic day at the University of Pittsburgh with us in some way. Follow @PittAthletics on Twitter using #PittACC and the Pitt Panthers Facebook page for continuing coverage.




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