October 3, 2007

OL problems grow with loss of Pinkston

In case Pitt's chances in 2007 weren't hindered enough by the losses of the team's starting quarterback, receiver, and defensive tackle, not to mention a primary backup at running back and a likely contributor on the offensive line, the Panthers suffered another big injury blow on Monday when it was announced that sophomore offensive tackle Jason Pinkston will miss the rest of the season due to a shoulder injury.

"It's tough to lose him because we need him," head coach Dave Wannstedt said during the Big East teleconference on Monday.

It's putting it lightly to say that Pitt needs Pinkston. Pinkston became the Panthers' starting right tackle in spring camp earlier this year when senior Mike McGlynn had to have shoulder surgery, and he held on to the position (with little competition) in training camp. When McGlynn returned near the end of August, he spent his time working exclusively at right guard.

As the season progressed through the first three games, McGlynn was eventually inserted into the starting lineup in place of sophomore Joe Thomas, who had been struggling at right guard. But the injury to Pinkston will lead McGlynn back outside to tackle and Thomas back into the top five on the line.

With Pinkston and the two freshmen (Jacobson and Matha) done for the year, the depth on the offensive line is as light as it has been since Wannstedt arrived at Pitt. Redshirt sophomore John Bachman has been a man with no home for three years at Pitt, having played tackle in his first season, participating in a failed experiment at center last spring, and now spending time working at guard.

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