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October 31, 2011After a week that saw Pitt lose four players to season-ending injuries and a fifth to disciplinary dismissal, the team's depth chart underwent considerable change this week.
The biggest loss was junior tailback Ray Graham. Redshirt senior Zach Brown will replace him, but the coaching staff is also looking to play freshman Isaac Bennett, and he is listed as Brown's backup.
With redshirt junior Cameron Saddler and redshirt freshman Salath Williams out for the season, the two-deep at receiver needed two new names. So redshirt freshman Drew Carswell was moved from H-back to receiver - which was his original position at Pitt - and he is the backup X-receiver behind Devin Street.
Ed Tinker was previously listed as Street's backup, but he took Williams' place as the backup Y-receiver behind Mike Shanahan.
To replace Saddler, freshman Ronald Jones moved up the depth chart from backup to starting Z-receiver, with freshman Darius Patton as the reserve.
The offensive line also took a hit with the loss of redshirt freshman Matt Rotheram, who started the Utah game at right tackle and the Connecticut game at right guard. Senior Lucas Nix is listed as the starter at right guard on this week's depth chart; if Nix plays it will be his first game action since he left the South Florida game with an injury.
Elsewhere on the offensive line, the coaching staff appears to be planning to stick with most of the lineup they used against Connecticut, with redshirt senior Greg Gaskins at left tackle, redshirt junior Ryan Turnley at center, and redshirt senior Jordan Gibbs at right tackle. Redshirt sophomores Ryan Schlieper and Juantez Hollins are listed as co-starters at left guard; Schlieper has started the last two games.
There are only a few adjustments on defense, and they were in the ranks of the reserves. Kevin Adams was removed from the depth chart after being dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons on Friday. Redshirt sophomore Carl Fleming is now the primary backup at Spur linebacker behind Todd Thomas.
The coaching staff also moved freshman LaQuentin Smith from reserve weak-side linebacker to reserve Panther linebacker. The move most likely means that redshirt senior Greg Williams would move from Panther to Spur if Thomas became unavailable. If that scenario unfolds, Ejuan Price would be the first-team Panther linebacker and Smith would be his backup.
There was also one change on special teams. With Saddler out, the coaching staff listed Shanahan as the backup punt returner behind Jones on this week's depth chart.