Isaac Bennett won't likely be unseated as the starting running back

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Isaac Bennett taking over as the presumed starting running back wasn't a huge surprise. But could he be unseated this season?

I doubt it.

Bennett didn't get on the field much last season, but he got more time than Malcolm Crockett, his primary competition for the starting job. Desmond Brown, who had a nice spring game, is also a competitor. Crockett saw action (as far as carries go) in only two games last year - one was against Gardner-Webb when practically everyone got onto the field and the second was the bowl game when Ray Graham was injured. Bennett didn't play all that much, but he registered carries in seven of Pitt's contests.

But there are also other reasons why Bennett could be difficult to unseat. First, he's a year older and has more experience - not only in games this year, but in practices. In the limited amount of time each saw on the field, Bennett also had a higher yard-per-carry average (4.9 to 4.2). Bennett also has proved himself as capable of catching the ball out of the backfield - something that made Ray Graham extremely valuable. And in case you don't remember, Bennett showed a ton of promise last spring. He had several 50+ yard runs and followed that up with a big Blue-Gold game effort, rushing for 124 yards.

And, oh yeah - Bennett made a good impression during this year's spring game on Friday, rushing for 114 yards and a touchdown on nearly six yards per carry. Nothing like cementing your status a bit as the top dog.

The bottom line is that he's shown a great deal so far while Crockett and Brown are still kind of unknowns. Bennett is too, but to a lesser degree. It's difficult to envision him being passed up next season.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics.

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