Pitt notebook: Graham continues to gain confidence
• Pitt coach Paul Chryst said running back Ray Graham is not fully recovered from knee surgery, despite his rise to third in the Big East in rushing. “A full-speed Ray will be a pretty good thing,” Chryst said. If he's not 100 percent, where is he? Chryst said he doesn't know, and isn't interested in knowing. “Each week, Ray is gaining in confidence,” Chryst said. “It's not to the point where we are taking any steps backward, so I'm not trying to figure it out. I like being around Ray and appreciate the way he works, and I think the only thing we spend a lot of time talking about is being your best. As (the knee) keeps coming back, that will help him get better.”
• Rutgers' Jawan Jamison leads the conference with an average of 122.7 yards, followed by Cincinnati's George Winn (121 in two games) and Graham (90.5). Pitt freshman Rushel Shell is No. 6 (76.3 in three games).
• Chryst said a point of emphasis will be attempting to eliminate penalties. Pitt is 87th among 120 schools with an average of 7.5 per game (30 for a loss of 279 yards). Three Big East teams are worse: Syracuse and South Florida are 110th (8.75). and undefeated Rutgers is 119th (10.25).
• Pitt has amassed 1,163 yards of total offense in the past two weeks (626 vs. Gardner-Webb and 537 vs. Virginia Tech), a school record for back-to-back games. The prior mark was 1,154 set in 1992, a 3-9 season, when Pitt recorded 558 yards vs. Rutgers and 596 against Minnesota. The three-game record also was set in ‘92 (1,706 against Rutgers, Minnesota and Maryland).
• Pitt senior wide receiver Mike Shanahan was named to the Big East honor roll after catching five passes for 144 yards and two touchdowns against Gardner-Webb.