Manasseh Garner turning into reliable option at tight end

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

For much of the season, Pitt has been looking for a third wide receiver. Kevin Weatherspoon seemed to answer that bell, but has largely tailed off ever since his 50-yard three-catch game against Virginia Tech. In the six games since then, Weatherspoon has had only four catches for 30 yards and he hasn't had a touchdown all season.

Another wideout isn't stepping up, but one of Pitt's many tight ends is - Manasseh Garner.

Garner has been a contributor all season long and through 11 games, he has been Pitt's best tight end with 28 catches for 293 yards and three touchdowns. His consistency is hard to question since he's been a part of the offense in nearly every single game. Only once, against Virginia when the offense was virtually nonexistent, has he been shut out and he has a catch in every other game for Pitt this season. But he's really picked it up over the past two games.

Garner had a season-highs in catches (five) and yardage (68) for the Panthers in last weekend's loss to North Carolina. He outdid himself this week setting a new career-high with seven catches while adding 61 yards against Syracuse on Saturday. He was instrumental in the Orange game, catching a touchdown earlier in the game and then hauling in two passes on the go-ahead drive for Pitt when Isaac Bennett scored. Both of those catches on that drive were for first downs.

The passing game has been on and off this year, but Garner has been a steady third option for quarterback Tom Savage and Pitt.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author and manager/editor of Cardiac Hill @AnsonWhaley

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