PITTSBURGH — It was a gorgeous, if crisp, fall morning for the Panthers as they took to the field for their last full practice before boarding their flight for Charlottesville, Virginia on Thursday in advance of Friday’s ACC Coastal showdown with the No. 23 Cavaliers.
Other than it feeling like a Wednesday instead of a Tuesday because of the condensed week, it was a pretty typical practice day for the Panthers.
The one big change to the usual routine has been the continued presence of true freshman V’Lique Carter on the offensive side of the ball. When Carter worked with the wide receivers in a drill leading up to the Duke game, he was wearing a blue practice jersey as part of the defense.
This week, he’s flipped to a white practice jersey, signifying that his move to offense seems more long-term than short-term. He worked with the wide receivers group on Tuesday and it seems likely that’s where he’ll stay, despite the fact that he effectively replaced injured running back Mychale Salahuddin.
He also fielded punts alongside Paris Ford. That doesn’t mean he’ll actually return many — after all, Ford doesn’t either — but it is a sign that he’s likely to be in the mix as far as playing time going forward.
Head coach Pat Narduzzi said on Monday that at least one, and probably two, Pitt freshmen would make their debuts this week. It seems like defensive tackle Devin Danielson has the inside track on one of those jobs.
Danielson, a freshman from Thomas Jefferson, was with the starting group of defensive linemen during drills on Tuesday.
THREE-FOUR, SECOND TIME
Virginia will be the second 3-4 defensive front the Panthers have seen this season, following Georgia Tech. It’s an adjustment they’re pretty familiar with, having played the Cavaliers every year plus teams like Rice and Villanova.
Pitt’s tight ends are one of the positions most effected by the change, as they’ll frequently be responsible for blocking an outside linebacker on the edge. Here, Tim Salem has his grouping working through their keys.
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS
Pitt’s defensive backs got a special visitor on Tuesday, as former Pitt cornerback and current Philadelphia Eagles safety Avonte Maddox took in practice. Maddox caught up with new Pitt secondary coaches Archie Collins and Corey Sanders and shared the morning with some of his former teammates. That and more in the sights and sounds of Pitt practice from Oct. 30.