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Pitt notebook: Senior tight end Graham progressing from injuries

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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pitt tight end Hubie Graham has battled shoulder and ankle injuries for much of this season.
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

• Senior tight end Hubie Graham, who has been battling shoulder and ankle injuries most of the season, might play Saturday against Temple. “He did a little work today and is kind of coming a little bit,” offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph said. “We'll see how (Tuesday) affected him for (Wednesday).”

• While Graham, his No. 1 backup Drew Carswell and fullback Mark Giubilato were out with injuries, wide receiver Mike Shanahan performed some blocking duties in the manner of a tight end. “He blocked a lot like we would use those guys,” Rudolph said. “He did a nice job with it. That's something he brings to the table and can add into some of the blocking schemes. You ask him, and he champions whatever role you give him and does a nice job of it.”

• Shanahan, who has 128 career receptions, needs six to move into fifth place on Pitt's all-time list.

• Rudolph said the wind at Buffalo on Saturday played a part in holding the pass attempts by quarterback Tino Sunseri to a season-low 17. “You wanted to be smart when it was a little bit harder to throw it down the field,” he said. “I had confidence in Tino but also didn't want to put anyone in a bad spot in that situation.”

• Dan Mason is in line to make his second consecutive start at middle linebacker for Shane Gordon, who has a high ankle sprain. Injuries to that part of the ankle typically take longer to heal than other sprains.

• Students attending the game will receive pink pompoms as part of Pitt football's first Breast Cancer Awareness game. Prior to the game, at 9:30 a.m., Pitt will hold a pink tailgate for survivors and their families at Stage AE, adjacent to Heinz Field. Also, the team will run onto the field through a lineup of survivors.

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