Pitt preparing for USF trickery
USF has successfully converted three fake punts in its past two meetings against Pitt, forcing Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt to adjust his scheme to prevent the Bulls from pulling another on Thursday.
"I hate to use this word, but you probably need to be a little more conservative," he said. "When we got caught each time, we were trying to force the issue with blocks. It does force you to re-evaluate what you're doing - which we have - and it forces you to be a little more conservative."
- Wannstedt said right tackle Joe Thomas (ankle) returned to practice and should be ready to play tomorrow, but Wannstedt added that he has confidence in backup Lucas Nix, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound freshman.
- When asked if the repeated drops by starting split end Oderick Turner have opened the door for freshman Jonathan Baldwin to earn more playing time, Wannstedt instead said that junior Cedric McGee "will get more work."
"We're hoping to play him more, and I think we will before it's all said and done," Wannstedt said. "If Joe can't go or is limited, Lucas can play. He'll be fine."
95 Number of Floridians on USF's roster, including 19 starters and both specialists. The only out-of-state starters are tight end Cedric Hill and strong safety Carlton Williams, both of Valdosta, Ga., and cornerback Jerome Murphy, of Elizabeth, N.J. Pitt has 15 Floridians.