Thursday Afternoon Delight

With junior quarterback Bill Stull at the controls, Pitt's first-team offense looked much sharper early during Thursday afternoon's practice, as he spread the ball around to several different receivers and moved it steadily downfield in the 11-on-11 matchup.

Bill Stull connected with redshirt junior wideout Marcel Pestano for 15 yards on a nice sideline route, as he beat the nickel defense between safeties Jovani Chappel and Mike Phillips and found Tamarcus Porter open across the middle, but the speedy sophomore had to make a diving catch.

"Billy is continuing to get better every day,'' Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt said. "I don't know what his completion percentage was, but we really weren't a whole lot different going into today's practice from a year ago as far as completion percentage with all of our quarterbacks.

"So, we've got a lot of work to do, but we do see progress being made. Pat Bostick got a lot more work today. He was able to wear shoulder pads, so he was in all the passing drills and a little bit of team stuff. That's good. I think if he keeps progressing, I would expect him to scrimmage Saturday.''

Reshirt sophomore outside linebacker Shane Murray made his triumphant return during the afternoon practice after missing a couple workouts, and he and made several nice plays from his weak-side spot. On one play, he read a screen to freshman tailback LeSean McCoy and popped him after redshirt frosh quarterback Kevan Smith laid it out too high for McCoy to pull it in.

Smith also was picked off by redshirt freshman cornerback Ricky Gary, who continues to have a strong camp. Gary is battling senior Lowell Robinson for the No. 1 corner spot. Robinson made a nice break on a pass to freshman wideout Aaron Smith, just one day removed from playing cornerback. Smith ran a tight route and made a nice catch, but Robinson stripped him just as the whistle was about to stop the play.

Bostick, the frosh quarterback, worked in shoulder pads for the first time in the afternoon practice and got his welcome to college moment around the workout's midpoint. Bostick attempted to lob a pass over the line, and frosh defensive end Jabaal Sheard batted the ball back at a much faster rate.

Junior tailback LaRod Stephens-Howling came out on a reverse and blocked fifth-year senior cornerback Kennard Cox well enough to spring freshman wideout Aundre Wright for an extra 10 yards, but that was about as good as it got for Pitt's offense. The defense picked up the pace from the middle to the end and several times, not specific to either the first, second or third units, sent an all-out blitz and easily got to the quarterbacks before they could even drop back completely and plant.

In the you can't make the club from the tub category, freshman LB Brandon Lindsey from Aliquippa, Pa. has missed nearly all of camp with a nagging hamstring injury. ... Frosh RB Greg Williams from Naples, Fla., however, finally returned from a lengthy absence due to an ankle problem. But he'll have a tough time getting reps now behind the top four tailbacks.

Sherod Murdock, a freshman DB from Tampa, Fla., was injured in the morning practice and watched the afternoon session on crutches with his left knee wrapped. ... Frosh OL Dan Matha from Erie, Pa. had his left shoulder operated on recently, and he needs to have the right one done as well. Matha will not take a grayshirt, however, as Wannstedt believed he would be better of redshirting and staying with the team to go through its rehab program. ... Senior WR Derek Kinder's knee surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.

Redshirt sophomore DE Doug Fulmer, rehabbing after right knee surgery this past spring, was out with his linemates during the individual workouts. But he can't do anything just yet. ... Also, junior DT Gus Mustakas took the afternoon off, while sophomore OG Joe Thomas was held out as well.

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