Alecxih, Baldwin respond to challenges
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» After they had disappointing performances in the opener at Utah, the Pitt coaching staff issued challenges to defensive tackle Chas Alecxih and receiver Jon Baldwin to play better. Both responded in a big way against New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon at Heinz Field. Baldwin finished with six receptions for 100 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown, in the Panthers' 38-16 victory. It was the ninth 100-yard game for the junior from Aliquippa, who had four catches for 71 yards and a score against Utah. "I always want to have a big game," Baldwin said. "That's normal for me." Alecxih was a disruptive force in his second career start, recording five tackles (four solo), three sacks and two quarterback hurries, as the Panthers finished with six sacks. Pitt led the nation in sacks at 3.62 per game last season but didn't have any against Utah. "We go from leading the country in sacks last year to not having one sack?" said Alecxih, who had four last season. "It was embarrassing. Quite frankly, it was very embarrassing. ... You saw the results (yesterday)."
» The Panthers not only played without senior end Greg Romeus (back) and senior safety Dom DeCicco (hamstring), who both aggravated injuries at Utah, but Romeus wasn't even on the sidelines. Coach Dave Wannstedt said Romeus, the 2009 Big East co-Defensive Player of the Year, was excused "to go home for personal reasons." Redshirt junior Brandon Lindsey replaced Romeus and finished with four tackles and two sacks. Redshirt freshman Jason Hendricks filled in for DeCicco and had five tackles. It was the first career start for both players.
» The Panthers have a bye before playing host to Miami on Sept. 23, and Wannstedt said hopes the time off will help Romeus and DeCicco heal. "Miami is a great football team — I don't have to tell you guys that — and we're going to need everyone that's possible from a health standpoint to get back," Wannstedt said. "The extra couple days will help us."
» Chris Jeannot is the same height he was at Moon, but the New Hampshire tight end had a career game against Pitt after filling out his 6-foot-6 frame by adding 45 pounds. In a homecoming before an estimated 150 family and friends, Jeannot had 12 receptions for 110 yards. Both were game- and career-highs for the junior, who had 11 catches for 129 yards last season. "I would have traded all my catches and taken zero for a win," Jeannot said. "It's good to play well in front of all my friends and family, but at the same time you've got a feeling in your stomach when you come out of here with a loss."
» Pitt left guard Chris Jacobson twice left the game with a twisted ankle and was replaced by Ryan Turnley.
» Safety Jarred Holley intercepted a pass on the first play from scrimmage, the fourth of his career and second in as many games.
» Dan Hutchins averaged 52.7 yards on three punts and made a 32-yard field goal. He missed a 44-yarder.
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