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Panther of the Game: Isaac Bennett

Isaac Bennett paced the Panthers with over 200 yards

Isaac Bennett gashed the ODU defense for over 200 yards last night
Isaac Bennett gashed the ODU defense for over 200 yards last night
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

I settled into my seat last night at Heinz Field hoping to see the Pitt offensive line open up some holes and they did in a big way.  They still are having trouble keeping quarterback Tom Savage upright for a good part of the game (and some of that is on Savage), but man, they did a heck of a job up the middle for our Panther of the Game: Isaac Bennett.

The junior running back from Tulsa, OK carried the rock 30 times and ripped through the Old Dominion defense for 240 yards and three touchdowns. It could not have been easy always being "that other running back" on Pitt's team. Bennett has had to sit back while we went through the Ray Graham show, Rushel Shell diva era, then the emergence of true freshman, James Conner before getting a chance to shine last night.  He made the most of his opportunity while Conner sat out the game with a shoulder injury.  It should be noted that Conner was suited up and was constantly keeping loose on the sidelines if needed, but Bennett was just so good that he wasn't.

The 5'11", 205-pound Bennett did most of his damage up the middle.  It seemed that every time the Panthers tried to run wide, it was not as effective. But time and time again, the offensive line opened holes that drew a collective "whoa" from the stands on almost every play.  It wasn't all on the line, though, as Bennett broke tackles and ran with patience.  With all of the drama at tailback and seeing #34 be the guy in the background for the last few years, it was nice to see him have a game like this.

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