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November 3, 2013

Notebook: The loss, Aaron Donald and more

ATLANTA - Pitt suffered its fourth loss of the season Saturday night, as the Panthers fell to Georgia Tech 21-10 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Here's a collection of news and notes from the game.

- Senior defensive tackle Aaron Donald was the star of the night for Pitt, piling up an extraordinary 11 tackles - all solo - and six tackles for loss from his defensive tackle position. Donald also had one sack and two forced fumbles in the loss. The six tackles for loss are a new career high for Donald, and he now has 19.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage for the season (an average of 2.4 per game).

- Donald now has 27.5 sacks in his career, giving him sole possession of fourth place on Pitt's all-time sack list. He is 3.5 sacks behind Tony Woods, who is third, and 5.5 sacks behind No. 2 Randy Holloway. Hugh Green set the all-time Pitt career mark at 49.

- Freshman Dorian Johnson made his first career start when he lined up with the offense at left tackle to open the game. Johnson had appeared in the last six games as an extra blocker lined up at tight end. He started in place of Adam Bisnowaty, who started at left tackle for the first seven games of the season. Bisnowaty appeared on the field-goal team, but Paul Chryst said that the redshirt freshman was injured and missed practice time through the week.

- Redshirt senior Shane Gordon did not make the trip to Atlanta, and redshirt sophomore Nicholas Grigsby started in his place at middle linebacker. Freshman Matt Galambos rotated with Grigsby, and the two combined for eight tackles. Grigsby had six of those (four solo) and Galambos had two.

- Sophomore defensive end Darryl Render made his first start of the season and the second start of his career. Render was the third-leading tackler in the game with seven stops and a fumble recovery.

- Pitt recovered two Georgia Tech fumbles in the game, bringing the season total to five. Saturday night was the first time since the Virginia game that the Panthers recovered a fumble.

- Freshman receiver Tyler Boyd recorded 118 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches Saturday night, marking his fourth 100-yard game of the season and his first since catching seven passes for 111 yards in the win over Virginia. The 11 receptions were a career high for the freshman from Clairton, and he now leads Pitt with 45 catches this season.

- Redshirt senior Devin Street caught five passes for 45 yards in the loss, including two catches for 19 yards on Pitt's doomed final drive. That performance extended Street's total career receptions to 191, which is the most in Pitt history. He also has 2,737 career receiving yards, which ranks third on Pitt's all-time. He needs 267 yards to pass Dietrich Jells for No. 2 on the all-time list and 325 yards to pass Antonio Bryant for the most receiving yards in Pitt history.

- Georgia Tech's offense ran 63 plays Saturday night, and Pitt's defense worked in its base personnel and formation for 62 of those snaps. Only when the Yellow Jackets faced third-and-17 in the fourth quarter did the Panthers switch into their nickel package. Georgia Tech converted that play with a 40-yard pass.

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