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  Even after losing preseason All-American defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman, who opted out this season to prepare for the NFL Draft, Pitt is back on top of the national sack rankings. The Panthers are No. 1 with 25 sacks and third in average per game (five). That's a season after Pitt finished tied for second, with Wisconsin and SMU (a total of 51), and led the nation with 3.9 per game. Yet, defensive end Patrick Jones II, who already leads the nation with seven, doesn't allow talk in the meeting room to lose focus. "He's quick to shut that down before it becomes a distraction," Partridge said. "He's extremely serious."

Football can be fun, mainly when a team is winning, but Jones said, "I don't think of it like a joke. I take it serious like a job. "It's something I just do and impress upon other people. You take the game like that, it's going to help you get a bigger paycheck when it's time to do that." Jones and Pitt's other bookend, Rashad Weaver, have combined for 111/2 sacks this season, one more than Twyman recorded in 13 games last year. All three men are considered among the top defensive linemen who will be available in the NFL Draft in 2021. Before that can happen, though, Jones and Weaver need to keep making the big, game-changing plays that could help pull Pitt out of its two-game losing streak. They get a chance to showcase their skills Saturday when Pitt visits No. 13 Miami. - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


(DS#5 DE) rSr/2021 DE Patrick Jones IIPittsburgh
News Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


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