Roberts Prepares For Possible First Start

Pitt coaches are letting Gabe Roberts and Alex Officer compete for the starting center job, as both look to replace Artie Rowell this week. Even though Roberts played Friday, making him the likely starter heading into Saturday's game, like many other personnel decisions--it's not a given.

Gabe Roberts says it was a wave of emotions on Friday night, as he saw starting center Artie Rowell go down with an injury. In the same breath, he knew it was his turn to go in.

"There's no time to get yourself going, it's just time to go," Roberts said. "We got to get snapping right away. We have to get in there and get going. When I saw Artie go down, I was shocked at first. I didn't want to miss a beat without Artie in."

Roberts himself has been through some injuries in his career. He suffered a shoulder injury a few weeks into his true freshman year, having a surgery that gave him a redshirt year. Though he was Rowell's backup last year, he suffered an injury to the same shoulder a few weeks in to the 2013 season, once again ending his season.

He was cleared at the end of spring ball.

"I had the shoulder (cleared) right at the end of spring ball," Roberts said. "It's good now. I just have to keep going with the rehab."

The job hasn't been handed to Roberts, and he says he prefers it be that way, for many reasons.

"It honestly feels like me and Alex are competing for the spot," Roberts said. "We push at each other, talk about what happened on the play. It's really good to have another center there. If you just get handed it, you're just sitting there, lazily. I feel it's up in the air. I feel (Wednesday) solidified it a little bit more. We'll see."

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