Pitt head coach Todd Graham issued an update on Ray Graham, Matt Rotheram and Cameron Saddler on Thursday afternoon, and it was not good news for the Panthers.
All three players will have season-ending surgeris following injuries sustained in Wednesday night's win over UConn.
Graham, Pitt's leading rusher, went down with a right knee injury on his second carry of the night, Pitt's fourth offensive play. Zach Brown filled in for Graham, and led the team with nine receptions for 84 yards.
Rotheram--who made his first career start in the Utah game at right tackle, then moved in to start at right guard against UConn, went down with a fractured left ankle in the second quarter Wednesday night. He played in all eight games this season.
Saddler fractured his sternum, following a 40-yard reception in the second quarter that led to Pitt's third touchdown of the game, which gave Pitt a commanding 21-3 lead over the Huskies. Saddler finished with three receptions for 66 yards on Wednesday night, and had 19 receptions for 207 yards on the season. Saddler started in seven of the eight games this year.
The latest injuries add on to a list of other key injuries the Panthers have had to deal with this season. Earlier this week, Pitt announced that safety Jason Hendricks and freshman receiver Salath Williams would have season-ending shoulder surgeries. Hendricks had started all seven games this season prior to his injury.
Pitt also lost senior offensive lineman Chris Jacobson in Week Three against Iowa. Jacobson suffered a knee injury in that game, and is expected to seek a medical redshirt. The team has also been playing without senior offensive lineman Lucas Nix, who has been out since the South Florida game.
"We are incredibly disappointed for these three young men," Coach Graham said. "They have put so much work into our program and it's heartbreaking to see their seasons end prematurely. Even from the sidelines, I know they are going to remain important leaders who will continue to make an impact as we strive to reach our goal of a Big East championship.
"I know each will attack their rehabilitation programs with incredible commitment and be back better than ever for next season. That's the type of people and competitors they are and we're proud that they are Panthers."