PITTSBURGH — After a weekend scrimmage and an off day Pitt returned to its South Side practice fields on Tuesday.
While their season-opening date with Virginia is still 11 days away, Tuesday’s practice marked the beginning of preparations for the Cavaliers.
Pitt had players in scout team uniforms for the first time this fall, with players donning not their own digits, but the numbers of the top players on the Cavaliers.
Freshmen quarterbacks Davis Beville and Eli Kosanovich wore the No. 3 of Virginia’s Bryce Perkins. Running backs Mychael Salahuddin and Kyle Vreen had on the No. 21 of tailback Wayne Taulapapa and wide receiver Cameron O’Neil wore the No. 2 of senior receiver Joe Reed.
Perkins was rated as the No. 15 quarterback in the country entering the 2019 season by Pro Football Focus. He threw for 2,680 yards last season and ran for another 932.
“I think he’s got me a little bit in speed,” Beville joked after practice.
But he said taking his reps against Pitt’s first-team offense, taken without the protection afforded by red no-contact jersey, will help him in the long run.
“I’d say it definitely just helps you get the ball out quick,” he said. “Just know where you’ve got to go, know your reads. It definitely helps you pick up the speed.”
The transition from first team, second team, third team to first team, second team, scout team happened a week earlier into camp than it has in the past for the Panthers under Pat Narduzzi, but the stakes are higher this year, with an important ACC Coastal Division battle, that could very well help decide the division, looming in Week 1.
“It’s a lot more intense, because it’s a little more serious,” linebacker Cam Bright said. “There’s a lot more on the line.”
SIGHTS AND SOUNDS