Despite limiting tailback LeSean McCoy to 15 plays and holding out starting quarterback Bill Stull (ribs) and backup tailback LaRod Stephens-Howling (leg) as a precaution, the Pittsburgh first team -- with Pat Bostick and Kevan Smith sharing the quarterback duties -- moved the ball pretty well. All the quarterbacks wore red jerseys and were off-limits to the defense.
"For the limited time that they went, I thought our defensive line did OK,'' Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said. "They didn't come up with any big sacks or any big plays. We had been doing that in practice, so that was missing today.
"And I don't know why. But I thought Kevan played solid, and he took advantage of his opportunity when Billy went down. I also thought that Greg Cross did a good job today. He made some throws and also made some plays with his feet.''
The first offensive series with Bostick under center Robb Houser did not go well. There several exchange problems that Wannstedt attributed to Houser being too excited in his first scrimmage, while Bostick said it was a matter of the two not working together that much in practice. There also were two offensive penalties, on one the Panthers were lined up offsides and the other was an illegal motion call.
"We had a few miscues, obviously, but ... I thought we bounced back and made a few plays,'' Bostick said. "We definitely need to make more big plays, because we'll need them in the season. ... But that's on me. I have to get the ball down-field more and do a better job keeping it inbounds like those to Baldwin.''
Bostick completed 7 of 12 passes for 49 yards with a long toss of 14 yards and two sacks. After a few early problems, however, he was sharp with 6 of 7 completions in mostly short-range. Two 20-yard tosses that freshman Jonathan Baldwin pulled in on the sideline were ruled out of bounds.
Kevan Smith was a little more successful with 9-for-13 passing for 72 yards and one touchdown to tight end Dorin Dickerson. His long pass was 13 yards. Greg Cross was 4-for-4 for 40 yards and one score to Baldwin with one sack, while Tino Sunseri was 3-for-5 for 23 yards and one interception to lineman Josh Novotny, who basically got in the way of the ball.
"I think it went great, because I got a little window of opportunity there,'' Smith said. "Me and Pat were switching reps, but I got a little bit of an opportunity and was able to capitalize that. We were able to take the ball down the field, and I was part of two touchdown drives with the first team. So, that was great.''
McCoy had 11 carries and ran for 68 yards with a long run for 14 yards in limited action. Freshman Chris Burns tallied 47 yards and two touchdowns, with a long for 17, while redshirt frosh Shariff Harris had 20 yards and one score on nine carries. Kevin Collier (three carries) and Conredge Collins (two) ran for minimal yardage.
Tight end Dorin Dickerson played behind starter Nate Byham and had five catches for 37 yards and one touchdown in the red zone. Burns and wideouts Aundre Wright, Michael Shanahan and Aaron Smith had two catches each. Jonathan Baldwin had just one catch for 10 yards, but it went for a touchdown. He also had two spectacular ones on the far sideline that were just out.
"I thought that overall, (the scrimmage) was OK, solid work,'' Wannstedt said. "But I didn't think there were enough big plays or game-changing plays on both sides of the ball. ... Shariff Harris and Chris Burns looked good.
"From a receiver standpoint, Baldwin made three great plays. He took one off the ground for a touchdown, and two great (leaping) plays on the sideline. Unfortunately, they were both out of bounds. But I think it's pretty evident that we need to find a way to get him ready to go.''
"On defense, a guy who keeps showing up is Andrew Taglianetti. He comes up (and hits you). So, we're going to start working him into some special teams with the first units, and he could be a guy to help us in that area.''
Conor Lee hit two 20-yard field goals and made both extra points he attempted.
Defensively, safeties Elijah Fields, Dom DeCicco and Andrew Taglianetti, as well as middle linebacker Shayne Hale, led Pitt with four tackles each. Adam Gunn recovered two fumbles, including one after Shane Murray snagged McCoy from behind and stripped him. Gunn took that one for a touchdown. Murray's two tackles were both behind the line.
The injured players were outside linebacker Brandon Lindsey (back spasms), receiver Cam Saddler (left knee), who was hurt during special teams play, and tight end John Pelusi (shoulder strain).
Pitt has just one practice Wednesday (2-5 p.m.) and two more Thursday. There is one Friday and the second scrimmage Saturday (10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Smith Leads Offense To 2 Scores
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