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Pitt football notebook: Street hurts ribs, expected to be OK

| Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, 7:06 p.m.

Pitt junior receiver Devin Street injured ribs Saturday during a 27-6 victory against Rutgers and was taken to a hospital for examination, coach Paul Chryst said.

“We hope everything is all right,” Chryst said. “I think he'll be all right.”

Street was second in the Big East in receptions (5.9) and receiving yards (80.6) per game, but he had only one catch for 14 yards before getting injured. Street had at least four catches in nine of the first 10 games.

He was replaced by redshirt junior Ed Tinker, a Brashear graduate who caught a 13-yard touchdown pass with seven seconds left in the first half that gave Pitt a 21-0 lead. Tinker caught two passes for 17 yards. He entered the game with one catch in the first 10 contests.

“We held him back the whole time,” Chryst said, joking. “You always like it when some guy can come in and contribute for the first time.”

A hit to remember

Senior receiver Cam Saddler said he endured the biggest hit of his career at any level when he was knocked over by Rutgers linebacker Khaseem Greene while returning a punt in the second quarter.

“I didn't see stars, but I had to check to see if all my limbs were still working,” said Saddler, who suffered a stinger on the play. “I looked down and wiggled my fingers, and I said, ‘I'm good.' I was just trying to make sure I wasn't at Gateway High School.”

Greene, who was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit, appeared to get the worst of the collision and was down for several minutes while doctors tended to him. His brother, Pitt running back Ray Graham, never left his side.

“Until he got up, I wasn't moving,” Graham said. “I just prayed for him.”

Greene returned in the second half.

Graham said he was praying for Greene and Saddler. “That's my brother as well,” Graham said of Saddler. “Not a brother by mothers and fathers, but that's my man, and I love him.”

The only other Pitt injury was to backup running back Malcolm Crockett (shoulder).

Not ‘fair'

On the play on which Greene hit him, Saddler was called for an illegal fair catch.

“I didn't call for a fair catch,” said Saddler, who said he waved his right arm to help maintain his balance. “I should have, I guess. We all saw that.” Saddler said receivers coach Bobby Engram told him before the punt that he might be able to break it for a long gain.

“I saw it was short kick, and I said, ‘Coach Engram is so right.' So I catch the ball, and I said, ‘Coach Engram is so wrong.'”

Prophetic tweet?

A tweet from officials at the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., might be indicative of where Pitt will finish the season if it beats South Florida next weekend to get to 6-6:

“Congratulations to UCONN and PITT for winning today and keeping their post season bowl hopes alive!”

Pitt has played in the Compass Bowl in each of the past two postseasons.

“Although I complain, ‘No Birmingham, no Birmingham,' that's one more game we got together,” Graham said. “I'm OK with it at the end of the day.”Connecticut (5-6, 2-4) could end up with the Compass Bowl berth if it beats Cincinnati.

Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can reached at jdipaola@tribweb.com or 412-320-7997.

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