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Blue-Gold Preview: The Teams Are Set

Blue-Gold Preview: The Teams Are Set

As the Pitt Panthers and the team’s fans count down the days to the 2018 Blue-Gold Game at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh Sports Now will break down the most important things to watch this Saturday.

PITTSBURGH — The teams have been chose for the 2018 Pitt Blue-Gold game.

The instra-squad matchup has followed the same format for each season under head coach Pat Narduzzi.

First, Narduzzi divides the coaching staff into two teams. The gold squad will be led by offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, while the blue team will be coached by assistant head coach and defensive line coach Charlie Partridge.

Then, the coaching staff drafts the seniors as team captains. Offensive lineman Alex Bookser was the first pick, going to the Gold squad. Then, the seniors draft the rest of the teams without the help of the coaches (although this rule has been bent at times.)

For the first time, Pitt’s starting quarterback in the spring isn’t a senior, so the team with the first pick would gain a big advantage in being able to select sophomore Kenny Pickett.

With so much on the line, Narduzzi didn’t settle for a simple coin toss. Instead, he staged an arm wrestling match between Bookser and Conor Dintino for the right to choose heads or tails on the flip.

Bookser won, won the toss, and picked Pickett for the gold team. The rest of the draft out so that the teams will look like this when they take the field on Saturday:

 

Each team will have an honorary head coach, as well, with Walt Harris coaching on the gold sideline and Johnny Majors on the blue sideline. Harris spoke with reporters after the draft.

Eight Panthers won’t be suiting up for the game due to injuries. Running back Qadree Ollison, wide receivers Dontavius Butler-Jenkins, Shockey Jacques-Louis and Aaron Mathews, linebackers Peyton Deri, Seun Idowu and Chase Pine and defensive tackle Keyshon Camp are all expected to miss the game.

Tight end Chris Clark has taken a leave of absence from the team this spring. Cornerback Kollin Smith has been focusing his efforts on the track team and hasn’t practiced this spring. Pittsburgh Sports Now has also learned that walk-on running back Shawn Wood has left the team.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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