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Pitt's Mason may not play against Miami

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By John Grupp
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010
 

» Sophomore middle linebacker Dan Mason, demoted to second team last week, may not play against Miami, according to coach Dave Wannstedt. Max Gruder is starting at middle linebacker, and Tristan Roberts will make his first career start at weak-side linebacker. Greg Williams will move to strong-side linebacker. When asked how the Panthers will use Mason, who was in Jason Douglas' car during a recent arrest, Wannstedt said, barring an injury or some other factor, "I don't know if we will. As of right now he is not on the depth chart as a starter, and he's not starting on any special teams," Wannstedt said.

» The job for right guard remains up in the air. Starter Greg Gaskins is listed ahead of sophomore Ryan Turnley, but perhaps only for now. Turnley played the second half of Pitt's 38-16 victory over New Hampshire on Sept. 11 after starting left guard Chris Jacobson sustained a twisted left ankle. Gaskins has struggled in his first year as a starter. "Right guard is a position where the competition is probably a little more active," Wannstedt said. "Greg knows that. We are trying to get the best player on the field, and right now it really hasn't been solidified."

» Pitt plans to play both Dion Lewis and Ray Graham against the Hurricanes. Graham rushed for a career-high 115 yards and two touchdowns on only nine carries against New Hampshire, while Lewis was held to a career-low 27 yards. Wannstedt said there is no set ratio of carries for each back heading into the game. "If we get the hot hand, we will probably play the hot hand," Wannstedt said.

» The Florida International-Pitt game Oct. 2 will start at 3:30 p.m. at Heinz Field and will be aired on ESPN3.com.

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