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Pitt RB Graham said he's still not the "old Ray"

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Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, 9:10 p.m.
 

• Running back Ray Graham said his surgically repaired knee continues to improve, but it has not reached the point where he completely trusts it. His 50-yard run against Cincinnati last week offered a good example. In the past, he said he might have been more aggressive and run toward the sideline where there was more room. “I don't want to compare the old Ray to this Ray,” he said, “but I would say (with) just me trusting it, I would have tried to outrun the (defender). That's where I need to get to, where I'm not thinking about none of that. I'm just doing it.”

• Graham said he does lack some of his explosiveness. “I need to get it in the fourth gear,” he said. “I feel like it's coming.”

• Graham leads Pitt in rushing and is sixth in the Big East with 174 yards on 33 carries. Only Connecticut's Lyle McCombs (43) and Louisville's Senorise Perry (35) have more carries. He said the knee gets sore and he occasionally feels tired, but he doesn't always admit it. “Even if I do (feel tired), I don't (tell the coaches) sometimes.”

• Graham was reluctant to criticize the holding penalty that wiped out a touchdown in Cincinnati, but he said the team could have recovered. “Mistakes happen, but you have to move forward,” he said. “We still had a drive to go and we still could have done something.” That drive ended with an interception in the end zone. Pitt has scored on only four of seven trips into the red zone (two touchdowns).

• Virginia Tech (2-0) visits Heinz Field on Saturday with a defense that is third in the nation against the pass (79 yards per game).

Gregg Giannotti of 93.7 The Fan will be the sideline reporter on radio broadcasts for the rest of the season.

— Jerry DiPaola

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