J.P. Holtz

Pittsburgh keeps pressure on UNC for ACC Coastal after 31-13 win at Duke

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The Pittsburgh Panthers (7-3, 5-1 ACC) may still need a little help from their ACC friends, but they certainly forced UNC to keep their foot on the gas pedal coming down the stretch of the regular season. Pitt’s 31-13 victory at Duke (6-4, 3-3 ACC) kept the Panthers one game in the loss column of the Tar Heels (UNC had not played yet) as quarterback Nathan Peterman threw three touchdown passes.

After going into halftime tied at 10-10, Pitt took care of business in the second quarter with Peterman tossing a short touchdown pass to J.P. Holtz to take a 17-10 lead at the end of a 10-play, 81-yard drive to open the half. The Panthers again scored through the air on their next possession with Peterman connecting with Dontez Ford. Star wide receiver Tyler Boyd did not put up huge numbers catching the football (three receptions for 38 yards), but Boyd did help out on the ground with 79 rushing yards. Boyd did not catch a pass in the second half. Qadree Ollison was the leading rusher in the game with 110 yards and a score. Pitt’s defense also got the job done, with three turnovers nd holding Duke without a touchdown since the first quarter. Outside of a 77-yard gain by Duke quarterback Parker Boehme, Pitt allowed just 36 rushing yards in the game.

With the win, Pitt continues to keep a shot at the ACC Coastal Division crown alive, depending on what North Carolina does. The Tar Heels have Miami today, with Virginia Tech and North Carolina State each on the road after today. Pitt started the day a game behind North Carolina, and UNC owns the head-to-head tiebreaker to make it more of a two-game lead on the Panthers. With home games against Louisville (next week) and Miami (Nov. 28), Pitt will have a chance to keep the pressure on UCN down the stretch.

Duke is now eliminated from winning the ACC Coastal Division. The loss to the Blue Devils also means we are guaranteed to see a new representative of the division in the  ACC Championship Game out of the Coastal Division. The only teams to represent the division since the first ACC title game in 2005 have been Virginia Tech (five times), Georgia Tech (four) and Duke (one). UNC, Pittsburgh and Miami have yet to play in the game, but are now the only possibilities to play Clemson this year.

Duke now has to shake off a three-game losing streak and will have to do so on the road for the remainder of the season. Duke visits Virginia next week and closes the regular season at Wake Forest.

Police expect to file DUI charges Tuesday against Pitt’s Tyler Boyd

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Late last week, star Pittsburgh wide receiver Tyler Boyd was arrested on a suspicion of driving under the influence charge.  Tomorrow, that charge is expected to be formalized — and at least a couple of others thrown in for good measure.

The chief of the Jefferson Hills (Pa.) police department, Eugene Roach, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that the department will “file DUI and other summary offenses Tuesday against” the 20-year-old Boyd. The charges would’ve been filed Monday, except the courts are closed because of Flag Day.

The other summary offenses will include underage drinking as well as what was described as “various vehicle code violations.”

Additionally, a couple of other details emerged regarding the traffic stop that led to the initial charge against Boyd.

Boyd, 20, was stopped at 2:35 a.m. Friday on Route 885 for suspicion of driving under the influence, police said. Officer John O’Leary stopped Boyd’s vehicle after it passed another vehicle “with limited sight distance ahead,” according to a police report.

Boyd, who told police he consumed two shots of an alcoholic beverage a short time earlier, was given a portable breath test that registered positive, Roach said. Boyd later was given a blood test at Jefferson Hospital, but those results may not be available for several weeks, the chief said.

Labeling the situation as “both serious and disappointing,” first-year Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi said in a statement that “will be held accountable to our internal standards of discipline and behavior.”

If that discipline includes any lost playing time, even for a single game, it would serve as a significant blow as Boyd is, simply put, an indispensable piece of Pitt’s passing attack.

As a true freshman in 2013, Boyd led Pitt with 85 receptions for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns. A year later as a sophomore, Boyd hit the same trifecta with 78-1,261-8. No. 2 in receptions in 2014 had 21 (J.P. Holtz), while No. 2 in receiving yards had 201 (Manasseh Garner). Only Holtz, a tight end, returns of those two in 2015.

Boyd’s name will litter nearly every preseason All-American team, and he’s widely projected to declare early and become a first-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft, with the potential to be the first receiver taken off the board.

Star Pitt WR Tyler Boyd facing DUI charge

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Six months or so into his first head-coaching job, and Pat Narduzzi is facing his stiffest off-field test yet at Pittsburgh.

According to the local CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh, Tyler Boyd was arrested and charged early Friday morning.  Specifically, the wide receiver is facing a charge of suspicion of driving under the influence following a traffic stop.  Why the stop initiated in the first place wasn’t detailed.

From KDKA‘s report:

According to police paperwork, the officer who pulled him over “smelled the moderate odor of an alcoholic beverage about Boyd,” who said he “had ‘two shots’ but did not start drinking until after the NBA Finals game he was watching.”

The 20-year-old was placed under arrest after being administered a breathalyzer that tested positive for alcohol, police paperwork said. He was then taken to Jefferson Hospital for a blood test.

After news of the arrest and charges surfaced, Narduzzi issued a statement through the school’s sports information department.

“Tyler’s situation is both serious and disappointing,” the coach began. “We have high expectations for the young men in our program, on and off the field. Tyler understands that and knows he must be responsible for his actions. Certainly, he will be held accountable to our internal standards of discipline and behavior.”

Simply put, Boyd is an indispensable piece to the Panthers’ passing attack.

As a true freshman in 2013, Boyd led Pitt with 85 receptions for 1,174 yards and seven touchdowns. A year later as a sophomore, Boyd hit the same trifecta with 78-1,261-8. No. 2 in receptions in 2014 had 21 (J.P. Holtz), while No. 2 in receiving yards had 201 (Manasseh Garner). Only Holtz, a tight end, returns of those two in 2015.

Boyd’s name will litter nearly every preseason All-American team, and he’s widely projected to declare early and become a first-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft.

Two of ACC’s top WRs over 100 yards as Pitt and Duke are tied at half

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Last year’s meeting between Duke and Pittsburgh provided plenty of fireworks, and this year’s game looked to start off right where last year’s meeting left off. The teams combined for 28 points in the back-and-forth first quarter and the first minute of the second. At the half, Pittsburgh and Duke are tied 28-28.

Duke quarterback Anthony Boone ended each of Duke’s first two possessions with touchdown catches. The first was to Jamison Crowder for a 39-yard score. The second was to Josh Snead from 10 yards out. Each score gave Duke the lead, but Pittsburgh responded with running back James Conner capping a 10-play, 82-yard drive with a short touchdown run and Chad Voytik taking off on his own for a 13-yard keeper to the end zone.

Pittsburgh finally took its first lead late in the second quarter with Voytik completing his second touchdown pass of the half to J.P. Holtz. Duke took a gamble on the goal line in the closing seconds of the half, and were rewarded with Thomas Sirk pushing across the goal line to tie the game at the break.

Two of the ACC’s top wide receivers are already over 100 yards in this one. Crowder leads Duke with 111 yards and two touchdowns. Pittsburgh’s rising star, Tyler Boyd, is past the century mark as well with 102 yards. Pittsburgh also already has over 100 rushing yards out of Conner on the ground as well.

The good news for Pittsburgh is the offense has also protected the football. After a dismal start last week against Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh went to halftime without a single turnover.