Pitt football notebook: RB Graham hitting his stride
By Jerry DiPaola
Published: Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, 3:34 p.m.
The time is not far off when questions about Pitt running back Ray Graham's knee will end.
He's ready for that day now.
“I don't think about it anymore,” he said. “I'm just playing.”
Running on a surgically repaired right knee that has had less than 11 months to heal, Graham is on pace for his first 1,000-yard season after reaching 362 through four games.
He also is putting his name among the greatest runners in Pitt history. He needs 53 yards to pass Pro Football Hall of Famer Curtis Martin and move into eighth place on the school's all-time rushing list. Graham has 2,591 yards.
Graham had his lightest workload of the season Saturday at Heinz Field in a 55-10 victory against Gardner-Webb. He carried eight times for 94 yards, but 78 came on one touchdown run.
On that play, he outran the secondary after bursting through a huge hole in the line. Graham said he kept track of his defender by glancing up at the scoreboard and watching a feed of the play.
“I didn't look back,” he said. “Thank God for the Jumbotron. He was kind of a little ways back, so I kept running.”
Render's big chance
Pitt was missing three starters Saturday, including defensive tackle Aaron Donald and fullback Mark Giubilato, who were out with knee injuries, and tight end Hubie Graham, who has missed the past two games (clavicle).
Freshman Darryl Render replaced Donald and nearly had the first interception of his career, deflecting a pass in the air and barely out of his reach.
“I'm going to hear about it all week (from teammates),” he said. “They're going to put me on the Jugs machine.”
The 6-foot-2, 270-pound Render said he has added 30 pounds since he played defensive end last year at St. Edward High School in Cleveland.
Barring an injury to quarterback Tino Sunseri, freshman Chad Voytik will redshirt this season.
After Sunseri helped Pitt to a comfortable lead, sophomore quarterback Trey Anderson got the call and played most of the fourth quarter. He completed both of his pass attempts for 53 yards.
Pitt's 55 points represented its highest single-game output since 1999 in a 55-24 victory against Temple at Pitt Stadium. ... The 45-point margin is Pitt's best since 2006 when the Panthers beat The Citadel, 51-6, and Central Florida, 52-7. The win over Central Florida gave Pitt a 6-1 record before it lost its final five. ... Sunseri has improved his yardage total from the previous game in every week this season, including the opener. ... Receivers Mike Shanahan and Devin Street have been consistent, with Shanahan recording at least five receptions in every game and Street alternating between four and five. ... Street also had key blocks on touchdowns by Shanahan and Graham. ... Linebacker Todd Thomas (knee) was in uniform but did not play.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7997.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Loss to Pitt propelled Clemson
- Pitt’s oldest known living football letterman turns 100
- With NCAA hopes on bubble, Pitt men treating Clemson as must-win
- Panthers Insider: Reeling Pitt faces must-win in Clemson
- Pitt baseball team braces for move to ACC
- Pitt coach focuses on battle of boards after record-setting defeat