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Busy Day for the Panthers in Birmingham

Ronald Jones takes a handoff from Tino Sunseri.

Ronald Jones takes a handoff from Tino Sunseri.
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The Panthers were up and at it early today in Birmingham. A select group of players attended an FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) breakfast this morning at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Birmingham. Upon their return, the team held meetings, bussed to the practice facility and was on the practice field and ready to go by 11:15.

It was a productive day for the Panthers, who are poised to win their third consecutive bowl game. Here are a few highlights from practice:

  • Placekicker Kevin Harper drilled a 51-yard field goal during the special teams portion of practice. The kick had plenty of distance and split the uprights despite a steady crosswind.
  • During team drills, senior defensive back Buddy Jackson made a spectacular interception. He jumped the crossing route beautifully, knocking it away from the intended receiver and securing the takeaway.
  • Junior quarterback Tino Sunseri threw some impressive deep balls during an 11-on-11 drill against the starting defense. Sunseri found Devin Street deep down the right sideline, placing the ball perfectly into his outstretched arms.
  • Redshirt freshman quarterback Mark Myers looked sharp when the second group was up. Myers delivered a pinpoint "back shoulder" throw to Drew Carswell, who seemed to be covered on the play. Carswell opened his shoulder while running down the left sideline, snagging the pass before the defensive back could react.
  • The Pitt defensive staff is pulling out all stops to prepare for SMU. In an effort to ready their defense for the Mustangs' 280-pound freshman running back Rishaad Wimbley, defensive tackle K.K. Mosley-Smith took some reps at scout team running back.

The Panthers finished up their second practice in Birmingham at around 1 p.m. and shipped back to the team hotel to await the night's festivities. All newcomers and freshmen took a trip to the Birmingham Civil Rights museum before joining the rest of the team, who visited the museum last year, for an entertaining evening at the Stardome Comedy Club. Then it is back to business tomorrow. Meetings and practice will be held in the morning as the Panthers begin finalizing their preparations for Saturday's contest. Game day is only three days away.