Keys To The Game

Pitt players share thoughts on the 0-2 start, while talking about what needs to be done to get a win Saturday against a tough test in Virginia Tech.

Tino Sunseri is coming off a two-interception performance against Cincinnati; also a game where he was sacked six times.

Here, Sunseri talks about Virginia Tech's defense, and what will be challenging in facing them.

Sunseri Audio:

When it comes to running back Ray Graham, there is an even more noticeable confidence about him...and why not? Just two games into his senior season, after Pitt's coaching staff and medical team played it very close to the vest, Graham rushed for over 100 yards against Cincinnati. It was one of the few brightspots in an otherwise ugly game.

Rushel Shell

saw his first collegiate action. He admits he was caught off guard by when exactly he was put in the game. He says it didn't settle in until he took that first carry. Shell also talks about pass blocking, and how that is something new to him. Pitt née help from the offensive line for sure. Like Paul Chryst said on Monday, it will take all 11 guys on offense to improve the pass protection. That includes Shell too, for however many snaps he's in for.

Shell Audio:

If you ever need to know about Isaac Bennett's attitude, consider this. Coming off a suspension after the first game, Shell went in the game before Bennett, and also carried the ball more. Bennett says he's okay with that. In fact, he's fine if all three running backs get the ball more--something that figures to be part of the gameplan going forward.

Bennett Audio:

Not only does the offensive line look to Ryan Turnley and Chris Jacobson when things get rough, so does the rest of the offense. Turnley and Jacobson talk bout how they embrace that leadership, and also the challenges they see with this Virginia Tech defensive line.

Turnley Audio:

Jacobson Audio:

When asked if there was one thing Jarred Holley feels could be an improvement for the defense right now, he cited communication. Not communication between players and coaches--better communication between the different units of the defense.

Based on what Holley says in this interview, keep an eye on the defense this week--to see how the secondary and linebackers communicate and adjust based on the calls. It will be interesting to see if better communication results in an improvement in this game. It's certainly a big key.

Holley Audio:

Aaron Donald was a little hard on himself this week. When asked if he feels he's seen more double-teams this year, Donald says he's seen them every play. Donald isn't being shifted around by the coaching staff to be freed up, nor is he getting much help from any of his linemates to help free him up. Instead, he's placing the blame on himself.

Donald Audio:

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