One of the many things that the Pitt Panther coaching staff will have to look over during their bye week is lineup changes.
While wholesale changes likely aren’t going to happen, the staff may consider playing time for some of the younger players on the roster and if they believe some of them could have an impact.
Doing something like this wouldn’t be punting on the season, because what’s being done and used now clearly isn’t working.
In the past, teams used to have to worry about burning a player’s redshirt, but in today’s age of the transfer portal and immediate eligibility after transferring, in my opinion, that’s something that Pitt shouldn’t worry about.
Pat Narduzzi has to find a way to turn this around and if that means using true freshman, well that’s what he should do.
Just a reminder, a player burns their redshirt when they play more than four games.
Through four games, here’s how Pitt has used their true freshman, as two players have played in more than 4 games.
PITT FRESHMAN USAGE:
Wide Receiver Kenny Johnson: 5 games
Linebacker Braylan Lovelace: 5 games
Center BJ Williams: 3 games
Athlete Jordan Bass: 3 games
Linebacker Rasheem Biles: 3 games
Wide Receiver Israel Polk: 2 games
Wide Receiver Zion Fowler-El: 1 game
Running Back Montravius Lloyd: 1 game
Defensive Tackle Isaiah Neal: 1 game
Wide Receiver Lamar Seymore: 1 game
Thoughts: Johnson and Lovelace are obviously going to keep playing, as they should. I’d like to see Johnson become the main wide receiver in Pitt’s passing attack but considering they haven’t found a way to get the ball to Gavin Bartholomew in 2 years, I won’t hold my breath that will happen. Because of injuries and hopefully because of his continued growth, Williams will likely remain in the lineup. As far as the other players on that list, the only player I wouldn’t use for more than 4 games is Lloyd. Pitt has a ton of running backs and with the way Frank Cignetti Jr. is dividing their carries, only using Lloyd for a handful of carries a game would be a waste. Three players that should be used more are: Bass, Fowler-El and Neal. Bass is one of the best athletes and playmakers on the roster, get him on the field. Pitt’s current wide receiver rotation isn’t getting the job done so let’s see the young guys. Johnson has been given some snaps, it’s time now that we see Fowler-El. Depending on how they look in practice, I’d say the same thing about Polk and Seymore. As far as Neal, Pitt has injuries at defensive tackle and frankly, they could use an infusion of young talent. Neal was the talk of the offseason and camp, let’s get him in the rotation.