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September 27, 2010

Pitt addresses the offensive line

After watching the offensive line struggle for three consecutive games to start the 2010 schedule, Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt made the first major depth-chart move of the season with a significant adjustment on the line.

In Monday's official two-deep, junior Lucas Nix moved from right tackle to first-team right guard, and redshirt junior Jordan Gibbs was listed at first-team right tackle.

Nix started all three games this season and all 13 games in 2009 at right tackle. He replaces redshirt junior Greg Gaskins at right guard. Gaskins started the first three games of this season at right guard but struggled in all three, and offensive line coach Tony Wise said earlier this season that Gaskins lacked physicality in his play.

Gibbs was the backup left tackle for the first three games of 2010. He appeared in all 13 games last season, with the bulk of his work coming on extra points and field goals. Saturday's game against Florida International will be his first career start.

Pitt's offense hit a three-year low point last Thursday, producing just three points in a 31-3 loss to Miami at Heinz Field. The Panthers rank in the bottom third in most offensive categories nationally, averaging 314 yards of total offense (94th), 188 yards of passing offense (85th), 126 yards of rushing offense (83rd), and 21.7 points per game (88th).

Monday's depth chart also reflected the absence of sophomore linebacker Dan Mason, who dislocated his knee in the loss to Miami. Redshirt junior Max Gruder is listed as the starting middle linebacker with redshirt freshman Shane Gordon as his backup.

Redshirt juniors Greg Williams (SAM) and Tristan Roberts (WILL) are the starting outside linebackers. Redshirt freshman Kevin Adams is the backup on the strong side, while redshirt sophomore Joe Trebitz and redshirt freshman Carl Fleming are the backups on the weak side.

Pitt hosts Florida International this Saturday at Heinz Field. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.





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