Pitt Notes: Wannstedt Sings Grothe's Praises

Article excerpt

Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt is impressed with the play of South Florida quarterback Matt Grothe, a redshirt freshman who ranks first in the Big East Conference in total offense at 239.6 yards per game, second in passing at 179.4 yards per game, third in pass efficiency with a 134.0 rating and seventh in rushing at 60.2 yards per game.

"Their young quarterback is good," Wannstedt said. "He's going to be one of the top guys. Right now, he's in the top three in almost every category statistically in the Big East, and he will continue to get better. He's a very good passer. He's a very good runner with the ball in his hands. He makes a lot of plays. He's made pretty good decisions, and I think that's been a real spark for their offense."

* Despite a 6-2 overall record (2-1 Big East), Wannstedt said he wasn't satisfied with where the Panthers are with two-thirds of the season complete, and he emphasized that the team's theme this week was "back to basics." Wannstedt said he hoped the bye week afforded the players time to reflect upon what they can accomplish in the last four games because the Panthers are "going to need every ounce of focus and every ounce of concentration that we can muster up to take with us down to South Florida."

* Junior Derek Kinder learned he was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award, presented to the nation's top receiver, while watching the Clemson-Virginia Tech on ESPN on Thursday night in his Oakland apartment.

"I'd be lying if I told you it wasn't a surprise," Kinder said. "I was just eager to see what finalists were on there. And my name popped up, and I was pretty surprised. …