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Pitt notebook: Street sits practice, transfer WR Ford will dress

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By John Manzo
Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 1:42 p.m.

Pitt senior receiver Devin Street wasn't dressed for Tuesday's practice in preparation for the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl appearance against Bowling Green on Thursday at Ford Field.

Coach Paul Chryst declined comment on injury updates following practice, but Street is listed as questionable according to a Pitt official.

Meanwhile, former Syracuse transfer, wide receiver Dontez Ford, who enrolled at Pitt in January, will make his first appearance for the Panthers after sitting out two semesters due to NCAA transfer guidelines.

“I just found out about this a few weeks ago. It hit me by surprise,” Ford said. “Coach walked up to me in the locker room one day and asked, ‘Are you ready?' I was sitting there like, ready for practice? And he said, ‘No, you're going to have to suit up for this game.' ”

Ford, a Sto-Rox graduate who had been on scout team for a majority of the season, said he had to play catch-up with the playbook.

“The first week was pretty tough, but eventually it just became a matter of learning the concepts because I pretty much had to learn the entire offense,” he said. “Once you know it, you move wherever you have to go and make plays.”

Chryst said he isn't totally sure what Ford's role will be Thursday, but expects him to play some receiver and believes he can help on special teams.

Ford will wear No. 32 during the game rather than his listed No. 12 uniform because placekicker Chris Blewitt already wears No. 12 and the two cannot have the same number on special teams.

Pitt faces MAC's top ‘D'

The BGSU defense ranks No. 1 in the Mid-American Conference in total defense, rushing defense and passing defense. The Falcons allow 308.7 yards per game, 74.1 yards fewer than any other MAC team.

BGSU kept Heisman Trophy finalist Jordan Lynch in check during the MAC Championship game Dec. 6. Lynch went 21 of 40 for 219 yards passing with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Falcons held him to only 135 yards rushing on their way to a 47-27 victory inside Ford Field.

“They made it hard on him (Lynch) and were really efficient in the red zone and efficient on third down,” Chryst said. “I think they have a really good defensive scheme and it looks like the players know it, understand it and trust it, so they are playing fast.”



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