Continued from page 1

It also will speed up an already accelerated learning curve for Hills, a Pittsburgh native who figures to have plenty of family in attendance for his most daunting college test yet.

“It’s definitely been a challenge,” Hills said. “This is a great opportunity for me. It’s something I’ve dreamed about. I just have to keep working hard. I know the curve. I have to learn a lot faster than I would have had to if I was a backup right now. That’s life. Sometimes you don’t get what you want. Sometimes it happens differently [than you plan]. You just have to keep going and keep living the dream.”

NOTES: Wide receiver Kerry Boykins (hamstring) and defensive end Keith Bowers (hamstring) will miss Saturday’s game. Freshman Stefon Diggs will start in Boykins’ place.

• Fullback Tyler Cierski (concussion) practiced all week after a one-game absence and is expected to play against West Virginia.

Edsall said kicker Nick Ferrara “hasn’t really done anything” in practice of late and will visit a doctor in New York on Friday to re-evaluate his injured hip. Ferrara, who had offseason hip surgery, has not played this season.