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Sept. 15, 2012

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Pitt Football Postgame Notes
Virginia Tech Game (Heinz Field)
Sept. 15, 2012

With today’s 35-17 victory over Virginia Tech, Pitt has defeated the Hokies in each of the past four meetings (2001, 2002, 2003 and 2012). Virginia Tech still leads the all-time series, 7-5.

Each of Pitt’s five wins over Virginia Tech have come against nationally ranked Hokie squads (No. 13/13 in 2012; No. 5/5 in 2003; No. 3/3 in 2002; No. 12/13 in 2001 and No. 19/20 in 1997).

Freshman tight end J.P. Holtz made his first career start today. Holtz replaced senior Hubie Graham (clavicle) in the lineup.

On defense, Pitt had two first-time career starters: redshirt freshman defensive end Devin Cook and senior linebacker Manny Williams.

Senior tailback Ray Graham’s 12-yard touchdown run with 12:17 left in the first quarter was his first TD of the 2012 season and gave the Panthers a 7-0 lead. Graham scored three total touchdowns today (two rush and one receiving). The last time a Pitt player scored three total touchdowns was against Maine on Sept. 10, 2011, when Graham also accounted for three TDs (all rush). Pitt defeated Maine, 35-29.

With his 157-yard rushing effort today, Rushel Shell became the first Pitt true freshman to rush for 100 yards in a game since Dion Lewis had 159 against North Carolina in the Dec. 26, 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl. Lewis had 10 100-yard games as a true freshman in 2009.

Senior receiver Mike Shanahan had a career-high 111 receiving yards (on five catches). His previous career best was 85 receiving yards against Buffalo on Sept. 3, 2011.

Senior safety Jarred Holley’s first-quarter interception was his first of the season and 10th of his career. It also marked the Panthers’ first forced turnover of 2012.

Junior safety Jason Hendricks had two interceptions today, the first multiple INT game of his career. Prior to Hendricks, the last Pitt player with two interceptions in the same game was safety Dom DeCicco, who had two against Cincinnati in a 28-10 win by the Panthers on Dec. 4, 2010.

Sophomore Eric Williams had Pitt’s first fumble recovery of the season today. Williams recovered a fumble (forced by defensive end Devin Cook) at the Virginia Tech 10. Ray Graham rushed for a five-yard TD two plays later.

Kyshoen Jarrett’s 94-yard punt return touchdown in the third quarter for Virginia Tech is the first by a Pitt opponent since Golden Tate (Notre Dame) had an 87-yard return for a score on Nov. 14, 2009, a 27-22 Pitt win at Heinz Field.

Logan Thomas threw an 85-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Davis in the third quarter. It is the first 80-plus yard TD pass by a Pitt opponent since Oct. 5, 1996, when Temple’s Henry Burris completed a 87-yard TD pass to Van Johnson.

Senior receiver Mike Shanahan’s 40-yard catch in the first quarter marked the longest reception of his career.

Pitt’s game captains for the Virginia Tech contest were senior receiver Mike Shanahan (offense), junior defensive tackle Aaron Donald (defense) and junior safety Jason Hendricks (special teams).


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