Youngstown State Vs. Pitt: Panthers Lose To Penguins, 31-17

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Ray Graham Injury: Pitt RB Was 'Scheduled To Get 25 Carries' In Youngstown State Loss

Ray Graham didn't get as much playing time as debut head coach Paul Chryst had hoped in the team's disappointing season-opening loss to Youngstown State, the coach admitted in the Big East coaches' teleconference Monday morning.

Graham, who tore his ACL last season against UConn, was considered a game-time decision Saturday, but ended up carrying the ball 14 times for 71 yards. His early red zone fumble was costly, killing promising Pitt drive, but overall, Chryst was pleased with what he saw out of the senior starter. From Smith's Twitter:

I thought he did some good things. I think he trusted himself. The best thing was that his confidence grew. I thought overall it was good to get him going. I still think he can make a lot more strides. We are over a big hump, a big hurdle.

Graham will presumably start again next week against a more traditionally tough opponent in Cincinnati.

For more on Pitt football, head over to Cardiac Hill and continue to check out SB Nation Pittsburgh for updates.

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Youngstown State Vs. Pitt: Paul Chryst Reacts To Embarrassing Loss

Saturday's 31-17 loss to a Football Championship Subdivision program, the Youngstown State Penguins, was a game Pittsburgh Panthers' first-year head coach Paul Chryst will probably want to forget. In all phases of the game, the Panthers were dominated by the Penguins, and Chryst didn't shy away from that fact in his post-game press conference.

"I thought tonight, quite honestly, they were the better football team," he said. "We talked about, starting with myself, taking ownership of this, and we certainly have to become a better team."

All in all, there wasn't much Chryst said about Pitt's historical loss, but he did spin one aspect of the contest into good news as he said running back Ray Graham felt no ill effects from his knee surgery.

"I love the competitiveness of Ray," Chryst said. "(The number of carries) was right around what we were hoping to get. I am anxious to see how (Sunday) is for him, but it was good to get him going."

This week, the Panthers will have a quick turnaround as they will travel to play the Cincinnati Bearcats on Thursday (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

For more on the Panthers, check out SB Nation Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.

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