The Line Of Demarcation

By Dale Grdnic Senior Writer The most exciting regular drill for the Pitt football team has to be the one-on-one period with the linemen, where the defensive players must use a variety of pass-rushing moves to get past the offensive players and get to large tackling dummy that represents the quarterback.

The offensive guys really don't have too much room to work with, and that makes the drill extremely difficult for them and conversely somewhat easier for the defensive lineman. But that's OK with Pittsburgh offensive line coach Tony Wise.

"That's a great drill for us, a terrific teaching session for both Greg (DL coach Gattuso) and me,'' Wise said. "The defensive linemen get to work on their pass-rushing moves, and our offensive linemen have to stop them. It's tough, but it's a really good drill.''

For that reason, it's probably not too much fun for the O-line, but it's interesting to watch nonetheless. It might not be as thrilling as the goal-line drills or intense as some 11-on-11 sessions with a lot of hitting, but it gives all players -- veterans and freshmen alike -- a chance to succeed.

The O-linemen weren't too successful Wednesday morning, though, as the defense appeared to tee off on every snap. Even freshman defensive end Jack Lippert, who has had a rough first camp with the Panthers, looked sharp. He made a quick outside move to get around massive tackle Dan Matha early in the drill and won two out of three against classmate Cory King.

Matha also struggled with redshirt freshman end Shayne Hale, who got a quick jump on him and shoved him backward into the quarterback. Frosh Tyrone Ezell has shown daily improvement and went 3-0 Wednesday against Josh Novotny, John Fieger and Jared Martin.

Fifth-year senior Gus Mustakas continued his strong camp by improving his pass-rushing skills. He beat Martin, guard John Malecki and center Robb Houser. Houser also struggled against Myles Caragein, but came back with a good effort against Chas Alecxih.

Alecxih came back to beat Joe Thomas with a quick inside move. Greg Romeus only went once and beat Lucas Nix despite a good battle. Nate Nix didn't go against his younger brother, but he made a couple nice moves to get past Keith Coleman and did a good job in a stalemate with Greg Gaskins.

Gaskins had a much tougher time with Caragein, but it was a solid matchup. The same could be said for the Craig Bokor-Alex Karabin contest. Both were draws, which goes to the offense. They were the last wins for the offense, as Brandon Lindsey slipped past Jordan Gibbs, and Bernardo Nunez beat Juantez Hollins with a quick inside move.

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