Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Pitt’s offensive line has struggled to begin the 2021 season, especially in the run game. Starting center Owen Drexel went down with an injury against Western Michigan, forcing the Panthers to juggle an already shaky line.
With depth an issue, right guard Jake Kradel moved to center, right tackle Gabe Houy moved to guard and, against New Hampshire, Matt Goncalves came off the bench to start at tackle.
Although head coach Pat Narduzzi admitted that a blowout victory against an FCS program isn’t a litmus test for much of anything, he said in his Monday press conference that he likes what he sees from the new look line.
“Matt Goncalves did a great job at right tackle. Gabe Houy embraced that guard position, enjoyed going in there and doing it,” Narduzzi said. “He was fired up going into it because he played guard in the past and he liked that change up.”
Georgia Tech ranks No. 41 in FBS in sacks and No. 64 in rushing yards allowed, so the Panthers might get an extended honeymoon period to figure out their line as Drexel continues to work his way back.
Here’s some footage of Pitt’s offensive linemen working on their blocking at practice on Tuesday, Sept. 28.