Pitt Football: Ray Graham Nets Recognition After Big Week

Ray Graham's big week against South Florida, as expected, landed him some significant recognition this week.

For starters, he set a Pitt record for most rushing yards through five games. ESPN's Craig James thinks he could be a legitimate Heisman candidate:

"Talent-wise, he is in the Heisman class," James said, "but his team, they have to win out. That's the reality of it."

As a side note, be sure to check out the last link to the Trib article - good stuff about Graham's high school days.

As I mentioned, Graham picked up a lot of recognition this week, winning a national award. But the real question is if it was deserved.

Graham won the Walter Camp Offensive Player of the Week award for top offensive player in the nation. But the amazing thing is that as good as Graham was this week, another running back in the conference actually had a bigger week on the ground. West Virginia freshman Dustin Garrison ran for 291 yards against Bowling Green this week - 65 more than Graham's 226. Garrison also averaged 9.1 yards per rush to Graham's 8.7 and both had two touchdowns.

So why didn't Garrison get the nod?

Graham did more more in the air, catching four passes for 42 yards (Garrison had two for four yards). But the biggest reason for Graham winning it is probably the competition. Pitt crushed a nationally-ranked team on national TV in the middle of the week with everyone watching while Garrison racked up his big yardage against Bowling Green.

Personally, I wouldn't have a problem if Garrison won that award this week. I'd probably lean towards giving it to Graham, though, because of the team he played against and because his total yards, including his return yardage, surpassed Garrison's. Graham was all over the field and that was surely at least part of the reason he won the award.

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