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June 23, 2013
Countdown to Labor Day: 71
The countdown to the start of the 2013 season is under way, as Pitt is 71 days away from its Labor Day opener against Florida State at Heinz Field. Panther-Lair.com is counting down the days until the biggest season opener in recent memory.
Today's number is 71, so we're looking at a standout player in a down era for Pitt.
The seasons immediately preceding Johnny Majors' arrival as head coach in 1973 were not good ones for Pitt football. Pitt had two winning seasons from 1960-72, and the Panthers were very much trending down as the 1960's turned into the 1970's.
There were still a few standout players, though, and one of those was receiver Steve Moyer. An eastern Pa. native who went to high school at Upper Perkiomen, Moyer lettered at Pitt from 1969-71, and during that time he was one of Pitt's top offensive weapons.
Of course, that deserves some context. In his senior season of 1971, Moyer was Pitt's leading scorer with 32 points, which he gained by way of five touchdowns and a two-point conversion. Still, he did earn a place in Pitt history, albeit a temporary one. In his first active season (1969), Moyer led Pitt with 48 receptions, falling just two short of the single-season record at the time. He also finished his career with 117 receptions, setting the Pitt record for career catches.
That record would stand for seven years until Gordon Jones finished his career with 133 catches. As the passing game became more of a focus at Pitt, Moyer slipped down the list, but he still ranks among the top 20 all-time pass-catchers.
When his career was over, Moyer had 1,271 receiving yards and eight touchdowns over three seasons.
Moyer never found his way to professional football; instead, he entered the teaching profession, first at Freedom High School in Bethlehem and then at Red Land High School near Harrisburg before landing back at his alma mater Upper Perkiomen, where he coached football for 13 years from 1986-98. After that stint, Moyer coached at Kutztown University for 10 years and spent time at Shady Side Academy before making his return to Upper Perkiomen in 2012.
Moyer's name doesn't ring a bell for most Pitt fans, largely due to his place on a series of Panther squads that are best forgotten. But a player who worked his way into the Pitt record books before beginning a career in teaching that spanned the better part of three decades is worth noting.
Previous entries in the Countdown
Countdown: 72 - An All-American who became a dentist
Countdown: 73 - May Day
Countdown: 74 - A "groundwork" season
Countdown: 75 - A successful DL-to-OL move
Countdown: 76 - The 1976 national championship
Countdown: 77 - The last three-sport athletes
Countdown: 78 - An underrated pro
Countdown: 79 - One of the best
Countdown: 80 - The greatest non-championship team in Pitt history
Countdown: 81 - A crushing end to a great season
Countdown: 82 - The dawn of the Foge Era
Countdown: 83 - The most accurate kicker in Pitt history
Countdown: 84 - Pitt in the Pro Bowl
Countdown: 85 - A play that will never be matched
Countdown: 86 - A long but unfulfilled play
Countdown: 87 - The final year of Ironhead
Countdown: 88 - Pitt's All-American tradition
Countdown: 89 - Iron Mike
Countdown: 90 - The four 9-0's
Countdown: 91 - The two longest plays in Pitt history
Countdown: 92 - The senior year of the most productive QB in Pitt history
Countdown: 93 - The only 9-3 season in Pitt history
Countdown: 94 - The statistical oddity of 1994
Countdown: 95 - A relentless player and his dominant season
Countdown: 96 - The biggest win in Pitt history
Countdown: 97 - A dominant current Panther
Countdown: 98 - A transition year
Countdown: 99 - Hugh Green
Countdown: 100 - A look at Pitt in 1913