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ESPN's Todd McShay wrote that Pittsburgh senior RT T.J. Clemmings' off-season work has yielded "big improvements in his game."

Clemmings has always been a player with physical talent (he's 6-foot-5, 315-pounds), but he struggled in 2013. This season, he's started to put together both the physical and mental aspects of the game. McShay noted that "if he continues to show improvement and prove that he's figured out how to play the position, he could work his way into the first-round mix." This is high praise, given that in the preseason TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline said that scouts were grading Clemmings as a middle round pick. The tackle is clearly working his way up draft boards.
Oct 29 - 5:13 PM

Pittsburgh sophomore WR Tyler Boyd had nine receptions for 137 yards in Saturday's 56-28 setback versus Georgia Tech.

This was only Boyd's second occurrence of cracking the century mark in receiving yards this season, but that can be blamed more on quarterbacking than his play. When the ball finds its way into Boyd's radius, he typically snatches it. Boyd has 45 catches for 651 yards and five touchdowns this year after collecting 85 catches for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns last year as Tom Savage's go-to receiver.
Oct 26 - 9:29 PM

Pittsburgh sophomore RB James Conner had 10 carries for 120 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday's 56-28 loss to Georgia Tech.

Conner briefly left the game with a knee injury, but was able to return. When he was on the field, the Yellow Jackets didn't have a chance, allowing Conner to scamper for 12 yards per carry. Because of inconsistent play from QB Chad Voytik, defenses are able to gang up on Conner, so his 5.9 YPC average on the year is impressive. Conner has rushed for 1,079 yards and 14 touchdowns through eight games.
Oct 26 - 9:15 PM

Pittsburgh senior RG Matt Rotheram and senior RT T.J. Clemmings "manhandled the Virginia Tech defensive line" in Thursday's win, wrote CBS Sports' Dane Brugler.

The Panthers ran up 212 yards on the ground. "A former defensive end, Clemmings has transformed himself into a bruising blocker and has moldable traits that will appeal to NFL scouts and coaches, possibly in the top-100 picks," Brugler wrote. The 6-foot-5 and 315-pounder has left ESPN Insider's Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl "extremely impressed" in 2014. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline wrote in the preseason that NFL scouts "speak well of" Clemmings. Rotheram is also an NFL prospect, giving Pittsburgh an elite pair of run-blocking lineman on the right side, into the backs of which RB James Conner is often asked to run.
Source: CBS Sports
Oct 17 - 5:52 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that Pittsburgh sophomore RB James Conner "is a bruising ballcarrier with a NFL body to run over defenders."

The Pittsburgh sophomore had 19 carries for 85 yards (5.3 yards per carry)and two touchdowns in Thursday's win over Virginia Tech. The Panthers prospect has carried the ball 175 times this season, more than any other running back in the five power conferences and has rushed for 959 yards this season.
Source: CBS Sports
Oct 17 - 2:09 PM

Pittsburgh sophomore WR Tyler Boyd had six receptions for 86 yards and a score in Thursday's 21-16 win over Virginia Tech.

Boyd also had a nifty 29-yard completion to QB Chad Voytik on a trick play. Voytik has proven to be an adept scrambler, but he has a long way to go as a passer, costing Boyd production. The former four-star recruit, who was ranked by Rivals as the No. 12 WR in the 2013 class, finished with 85 catches for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns last year as Tom Savage's go-to receiver. Boyd will be playing on Sundays one day, perhaps as soon as after next season.
Oct 16 - 11:23 PM

Pittsburgh sophomore RB James Conner had 19 carries for 85 yards and two touchdowns in Thursday's win over Virginia Tech.

He also had two receptions for 10 yards after coming into the game with just two catches for 20 yards. Conner had run for just one touchdown total during the Panthers' three-game losing streak. He appeared on defense in this game, as had been speculated, but not until late in the third quarter. It'll be interesting to see if Pitt coaches attempt to get Conner more involved on the defensive side of the ball as a rush end going forward.
Oct 16 - 11:18 PM

Pittsburgh sophomore RB James Conner will play some DE against Virginia Tech.

Conner played defensive line in high school and posted 12 sacks in a season, but we do not know if he has played the position since. We have seen a number of two way players recently, most notable Myles Jack of UCLA and Shaq Thompson of Washington, and while those players are physical Conner offers more of a juggernaut style. Conner has rushed for 874 yards and nine touchdowns on 156 attempts this season.
Oct 14 - 10:12 AM

Pittsburgh sophomore RB James Conner had 21 carries for 83 yards in Pittsburgh's loss to Virginia on Saturday.

Do not laugh when we tell you that there was a time -- less than a month ago! -- that Conner was considered a Heisman frontrunner. Conner had 799 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 81 carries (5.5 YPC) during Pittsburgh's 3-0 start. It's been downhill from there, as Conner has finished with 155, 92 and 83 rushing yards, respectively, during the Panthers' current three-game skid. The 6-foot-2, 250-pounder was compared to Eddie Lacy by a scout while he was shredding defenses in early September. He's only 126 yards away from his first 1,000-yard campaign.
Oct 6 - 10:13 PM

Pittsburgh sophomore WR Tyler Boyd had three receptions for 63 yards in Saturday's loss to Virginia.

Boyd's star (or at least his production) is essentially latched onto the play of QB Chad Voytik. Thus far, that hasn't been great news. Boyd broke Larry Fitzgerald's freshman receiving yard record by collecting 85 catches for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns last year, but that was with Tom Savage behind center. In 2014, he's got 30 catches for 428 yards and four touchdowns during a 3-3 start to the season.
Oct 6 - 9:59 PM

Pittsburgh redshirt senior OT T.J. Clemmings has left ESPN Insider's Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl "extremely impressed" in 2014.

"We've seen him live twice through four games and have come away extremely impressed," they write. "Clemmings, who played just two years of high school football and was recruited as a defensive tackle, was forced to offensive tackle last year due to injuries. He had his share of struggles. However, he appears more comfortable in his second season at the position and is showing better awareness. At nearly 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, Clemmings has a long and athletic-looking frame with tons of untapped potential that has created a big buzz within inner scouting circles." TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline wrote in the preseason that NFL scouts "speak well of" Clemmings. He added earlier this month: "Graded as a middle round choice, Clemmings is a mobile right tackle with the footwork and athleticism necessary to move to the blind-side but has the build of a guard best in a zone/motion blocking scheme."
Sep 30 - 10:08 PM

Pittsburgh sophomore RB James Conner had 25 carries for 92 yards in Pittsburgh's loss to Akron on Saturday.

Conner's Heisman candidacy has cratered almost as quickly as it sprouted. Pittsburgh has failed to win in consecutive weeks as home favorites, and Conner was dominant in neither game. He came into this game No. 1 in Division I-A with 699 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. An AFC scout told NFL.com earlier this month that "Conner has his attention and he'll be watching to see if his initial comparison to Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy holds up throughout the season."
Sep 27 - 6:46 PM

Pittsburgh sophomore WR Tyler Boyd had six receptions for 72 yards in Saturday's 21-10 upset loss to Akron.

The former four-star recruit is lagging behind last season's torrid statistical pace, but perhaps that was to be expected in the shift from Tom Savage to Chad Voytik. He's got 27 catches for 365 yards and four scores in 2014. Boyd broke Larry Fitzgerald's freshman receiving yard record by collecting 85 catches for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns last year.
Sep 27 - 6:33 PM

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Sam Werner reports that Pittsburgh sophomore RB James "was willing to accept some responsibility for Pitt’s struggles on the ground in the second half of its 24-20 loss against Iowa."

"Still, Conner was willing to accept some responsibility for Pitt’s struggles on the ground in the second half of its 24-20 loss against Iowa. After Conner rushed for 8 yards on the second play of the third quarter, he only had two runs longer than 3 yards the rest of the game," Werner wrote. Although Conner rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, Conner believes he "could’ve done a couple of things differently" and "should’ve kept it up and down more instead of breaking it to the outside." Conner is currently leading Division I-A in yards (699) and touchdowns (9) through four weeks of the season.
Sep 26 - 3:04 PM

According to CBS Sports' Dane Brugler, Pittsburgh owes a big portion of its rushing success in 2014 to senior OG Matt Rotheram and OT T.J. Clemmings, both of whom "really stood out against a stout Hawkeyes' defensive line" on Saturday.

The duo, weighing in at 645 pounds combined, makes for a terrifying right side of the line. They've helped Pitt rank in the top-five of FBS schools in rushing, while RB James Connor leads the nation in rushing yards (699) and rushing touchdowns (9). "Rotheram squares and extends to lock out at the point of attack, showing a natural feel and awareness for his surroundings," Brugler wrote. "And Clemmings, who moved to the offensive line from defensive end two years ago, has an ideal body type for the position and plays with excellent quickness and body control to abuse defenders through the echo of the whistle. Both of these seniors are maulers in the run game and have grabbed the attention of scouts with their play thus far in 2014."
Source: CBS Sports
Sep 23 - 8:09 PM


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