Experienced Line Play A Factor

Pittsburgh's front four returns three returning starters, four if you include Ejuan Price. Florida State returns

Look no further than the matchup of Rimington Award candidate Bryan Stork against Pitt's Aaron Donald.

Stork leads four returning starters on Florida State's offensive line, with 27 career starts under his belt.

Donald owns 17 career starts, and a total of 38 games played, coming off a year where he led Pitt with 18.5 tackles for losses.

"They are in three-down fronts, four-down fronts, they do a lot of variety of things," Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said. "97 (Aaron Donald) up front is a very good player, very athletic. Other guys are good, physical players."

Rounding out Florida States starting offensive line is left tackle Cameron Erving (6-6, 325, JR*), left guard Josue Matias (6-6, 322, JR), right guard Tre' Jackson (6-4, 330, JR) and right tackle Bobby Hart (6-4, 315, JR).

Erving, Matias and Jackson earned All-ACC honors in 2012. The new starter, Hart, may be a first-year starter, but has played in eight games as a reserve and nine games as a true freshman in 2011. Arguably, it's the most experienced unit Pitt will see this season.

"That will certainly play a big role, line play in general will be significant," Pitt head coach Paul Chryst added. "That's the starting point. We want to run the ball and protect the quarterback. We'll see how our defensive line matches up against their offensive line. That will be an important part of the game."

To counter Florida State's offensive line, in addition to Donald, Pitt returns Tyrone Ezell (6-4, 305, SR*) at defensive tackle, defensive end Bryan Murphy (6-3, 255, JR*) and converted defensive end Ejuan Price (6-0, 230, SO*). David Durham (6-1, 255, JR*) who transferred in from Ohio State in January of 2012 will start at defensive end opposite of Murphy.

Even though Price missed all of last year due to a pectoral injury, he played in all 13 games as a true freshman in 2011, making five starts, finishing with four sacks.

Murphy played in all 13 games last year, starting in 12. He says the whole goal in training camp has been building on the returning experience, continuing to gel as a starting unit while preparing for this tough test right off the bat.

"It's pretty competitive," Murphy said. "It's been great with the younger guys pushing us. We're giving a hundred percent in practice every day. None of us are taking it easy, because we can't."

Even for all that Donald has accomplished from an individual standpoint, the 2012 postseason accolades, the 2013 preseason accolades, he says its back to square one, starting with this Florida State matchup.

"We're just going out there, trying to play the game of football," Donald says. "We're just trying to play as a team, trying to compete.

"It's another game--a good team, with good players. We got a good team with good players as well. We're just trying to play the game of football, trying to compete."

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