Donald's play impresses former Pitt lineman Fralic
November 25, 2013 11:37 PM
Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald was named a finalist for two more awards Monday.
By Sam Werner / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Former Pitt offensive lineman Bill Fralic has watched every game the Panthers have played this season, so he wasn't surprised by what he saw defensive tackle Aaron Donald do Saturday against Syracuse.
That doesn't mean he wasn't any less impressed.
"Forgetting even about the blocked extra point, I don't think [Pitt] would've had a chance to win that game if it weren't for how he played defensively," Fralic said in a phone interview Monday. "He disrupted some of the different plays, even when he wasn't in on the tackle."
Donald finished the game with nine tackles (eight solo), 3 1/2 tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries and a blocked extra point that ended up being the difference in Pitt's 17-16 win.
Fralic, a two-time All-American at Pitt, said Donald's speed and athleticism made him a defensive tackle he would not have enjoyed trying to block during his playing days.
Fralic compared Donald to former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy White, who he played against during his first few seasons in the NFL.
Donald, who like Fralic is from Penn Hills, said he has appreciated the words of encouragement he has received this season.
"Bill Fralic's the man out in Penn Hills, everybody knows that," Donald said. "It's just amazing that these guys know who I am now. It's a blessing, man."
Donald added to his awards collection Monday, when he was named as a finalist for the Outland Trophy (best offensive or defensive lineman) and the Bednarik Award (best defensive player). Winners for both awards will be announced at ESPN's "College Football Awards Show" Dec. 12.
If it's up to Fralic, Donald will be coming back to Pittsburgh with some hardware.
"He deserves it," Fralic said. "I've watched every game this year and he's never not shown up. Some [opponents] have figure out how to deal with it better than others, but I'm not sure any of them did it with less than two guys on any given play. He's a special kid and he's had a hell of a year. I hope he gets what's coming to him."
Pitt coach Paul Chryst said left tackle Adam Bisnowaty, tight end Scott Orndoff and Ejuan Price are all out for Pitt's game Friday against Miami.
Bisnowaty (back) and Orndoff (leg) both missed the past two games. Price has been out since Pitt's Oct. 19 game against Old Dominion.
Redshirt senior Juantez Hollins was listed as the starter at left tackle on the official two-deep released Monday. Hollins started in Bisnowaty's place against Syracuse, and played most of the second half against North Carolina at left tackle.
Chryst said wide receiver Devin Street and linebacker Shane Gordon, both of whom left during the game Saturday, are in "wait and see" mode this week. Chryst also said he was holding out hope for left guard Cory King, who has not played since early October.
Weather or not?
Chryst is not a believer in the idea that cold weather Friday could give the Panthers an edge over Miami.
"I think everyone tries to say that this is your advantage, this is your edge," he said. "I think it is only if you make it that."
The Hurricanes have lost the past two games they've played in temperatures colder than 40 degrees -- the 2010 Sun Bowl against Notre Dame and the 2007 season finale against Boston College in Boston.
They beat Pitt in 2003 in 30-degree weather to wrap up a Big East title.
"I think that's one of those where after the game [you say], 'Yep, that was a big thing,' " Chryst said. "It has nothing to do with playing."
Sam Werner: email@example.com and Twitter @SWernerPG.
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