Pitt notebook: Panthers will find spots for freshman tackle Johnson
• Freshman Dorian Johnson remains the backup to T.J. Clemmings at right tackle, but he lost his redshirt Saturday when Pitt coach Paul Chryst used him as a blocker in some short-yardage plays. Chryst said Johnson, a prized recruit from Belle Vernon, is ready and will be used in other ways throughout the season. “Right now, we think Dorian’s a guy that is certainly ready to contribute and we think there are ways that we can use him,” Chryst said. “It may differ from game to game, but certainly when we play a guy we want to make sure that we’re committed enough to make it a worthwhile year for the young man. We’ll have some things for Dorian. If something happened at one of the tackle spots, he’d absolutely play.”
• Freshman wide receiver Tyler Boyd was named ACC Receiver of the Week and 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week. Boyd caught six passes for 134 yards and a touchdown and scored on a 33-yard run in the Panthers’ 49-27 win over New Mexico. “There’s something about me, I’m real athletic. I just want the ball in my hands,” Boyd said. He said Pitt coaches asked him during the recruitment process if he wanted to play defensive back or wide receiver. “I said I wanted to be on the offensive side. I can do real special things with the ball in my hands.”
• Pitt (1-1) is nearly injury-free going into Saturday’s game at Duke. “Right now, knock on wood, we’re pretty good,” Chryst said. “We came out of the game all right. (Outside linebacker) Bam (Bradley) went through warm-ups and didn’t go (shoulder injury), but hopefully that’s better now. There is nobody right now that won’t practice, as of my understanding.”
• Pitt’s home game against Virginia on Sept. 28 at Heinz Field will be televised by Root Sports. Kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. The game is homecoming.
— Jerry DiPaola