PITTSBURGH — It’s finally here, the 2023 season has arrived. Pitt is kicking off its 2023 season against Shawn Watson and the Wofford Terriers at 3:30 this afternoon.
It’s a beautiful afternoon down on the North Shore, with temperatures in the low 80s just a few hours before kickoff, and the Terriers will be hungry to start the season well.
Obviously, it’s a warmup against an FCS opponent for Pitt, but the coaching staff and players have stressed that it’s a game like any other. So, let’s take a look at a couple of key Wofford players.
Bryce Corriston — quarterback
Wofford switched to a spread offense last season, and starting quarterback Jimmy Weirich set records for passing attempts (322), completions (187) and passing yards (2,480) in a single season. But he plays at TCU now.
Bryce Corriston is listed as Wofford’s starting quarterback on its preseason depth chart, but he threw just two passes last season, with more interceptions (1) than completions (0). He played in eight games in 2021, completing 18-of-41 pass attempts (44%) for 179 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He does offer somewhat of a dual-threat at quarterback, but there isn’t a whole lot of him to watch.
Corriston — a 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior from Spring, Texas — has been around for a few seasons now, and he’s going to lead the offense this season. Even though Wofford hasn’t officially named a starting quarterback.
With former Pitt offensive coordinator Shawn Watson serving as the Wofford head coach and offensive coordinator, Corriston believes that Wofford’s offense — which did produce exponentially more in the second half of the 2022 season — is ready to take a step forward.
“I mean, I just think we’re gonna be explosive,” Corriston said after Wofford’s first fall scrimmage last month. “We have a lot of good playmakers, good running backs, good wide receivers, good tight end room, and we have dudes who just get the ball in their hands.”
Corriston said that Wofford’s offense is focusing on building consistency — fine-tuning the smaller details — ahead of the season opener against Pitt.
Kyle Parsons — running back
Parsons isn’t listed as a starter on the Wofford preseason depth chart, and he only started one game last season, but he might be the most versatile player on the offense.
He led the Terriers with 485 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 106 carries last season, but he also added 483 yards on 24 kick returns and 113 yards on 18 receptions. He was ninth in rushing yards per game, sixth in kick return average and sixth in all-purpose yards in the Southern Conference last season.
It’s hard to run on Pitt’s defense, and Parsons will be supplemented by fellow back Ryan Ingram, so it should be a matchup that Pitt is able to handle, even as new names are added into the starting lineup.
Chuck Smith — defensive line
Chuck Smith was second-team All-SoCon last season, leading the way defensively with 29 tackles (13 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles.
He’s an athletic player at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, playing the left end in a 3-4 defensive scheme. It should be a good opening test for new left tackle Matt Goncalves, who switched from the right side to the left side this summer, as he prepares for a tougher non-conference schedule.