After the transfer of Rushel Shell, Pitt junior Isaac Bennett looked to be the starter getting the bulk of the the carries for Pitt this season. Then a funny thing happened, though.
Bennett got injured in camp and that gave Conner more carries than expected. It was those reps that opened the door for him and if the Florida State game was any indication, the Panthers will be going with at least two backs getting a good deal of carries this season.
Bennett and Conner put up nearly identical numbers on Monday. Each got nine carries and Bennett had 35 yards to Conner's 34.
My guess is that the two continue to share carries and here's why - I don't think either is so dominant that Pitt will be better served by one dominating the attempts. Both showed the ability to break off a few nice runs in the opener, but neither was spectacular ... and I don't think either will be the rest of the season.
It's also not like either has had a full workload to this point and there have to be some questions if either can handle the strain of a 250- or 300-carry season. Bennett played sparingly in the past two seasons and Conner is, of course, in his first year.
In addition, both are slightly bigger backs and will get a lot of tough yards. Playing both of them is really going to be beneficial to the program, anyway. Even discounting injury concerns, alternating between the two will allow them to both be relatively fresh when they come in and that will hopefully mean the exploitation of some defenses.
Each will have their moments this year and while one may eventually prove to be the better back, the guess is that we'll see plenty of both this season.