Injuries are piling up for the Panthers as they prepare for the penultimate game of their regular season against Virginia on Nov. 20.
Offensive linemen Gabe Houy and Jake Kradel have missed time: Houy, the last two games, Kradel part of the UNC game on Nov. 11 and maybe more moving forward.
Receivers like Melquise Stovall and Jaylen Barden, thrust into a bigger role because of injuries to players higher on the depth chart are now injured as well, leaving a once-deep unit sparse.
These absences proved costly against UNC: holding penalties and sacks given up by reserve offensive linemen stalled promising Panthers drives in their tracks. A depleted receiver room caught a case of the drops in the second half, allowing the Tar Heels back into the game as incomplete passes stopped the clock and wasted what should have been successful plays.
Virginia has one of the top scoring offenses in the ACC when starting quarterback Brennan Armstrong is healthy, and he is likely to play on Saturday. With a top-flight passing attack coming to town, the Panthers must be ready to go blow for blow with them, and the next men up have to be up to the task.
Wasted possessions could put the game out of reach early, and the spotlight will be on Pitt’s backups.
Here are some clips of the units in question practicing during the media viewing window on Tuesday, Nov. 16.