PITTSBURGH — Pitt will be without its top offensive lineman for the remainder of the 2023 season.
Matt Goncalves has been ruled out for the 2023 season with an undisclosed injury, Pat Narduzzi announced Monday at his weekly news conference. He did not play in Pitt’s loss to North Carolina over the weekend after exiting in the fourth quarter of the loss to West Virginia.
It’s a tough blow for a Pitt offensive line that has struggled to find any consistency this season. And for Goncalves, who was named a captain before the season.
“I’ve worked very hard to be where I’m at today,” Goncalves said at the ACC Football Kickoff in August. “I think the guys around me, my teammates keep driving me every day. People in the offensive line room, my coaches, coach Narduzzi, and my family too told me to never give up. I never gave up, and I never back down.
“That’s where I’m at today, and I’m happy with it and still going to keep going no matter what.”
Goncalves started all three games he played in this season, filling the crucial left tackle pivot, and he was expected to breakout even further after a strong 2022 season.
Goncalves earned third-team All-ACC honors last season, taking 830 snaps last season, which only trailed Jake Kradel, and he’s once again back as Pitt’s starting right tackle.
He’s played in 35 games (making 21 starts dating back to 2020), and his size (6-foot-6, 330 pounds) and versatility (able to play on the left and right side of the line) should entice scouts.
He earned a 71.9 PFF offensive grade last season, with 76.2 in pass blocking and a 67.2 in run blocking, in 830 snaps — starting all 13 games last season. According to PFF, he didn’t allow a sack while allowing five quarterback hits and 12 quarterback hurries.
Ryan Baer and Branson Taylor will likely fill the tackle spots going forward this season.