For the second straight week, we have to give the Panther of the Game to receiver Tyler Boyd. It was a tough decision with James Conner hitting "beast mode" early in the Panther's 35-23 victory, while being pretty dinged up on his hip for the entire game. But in the end, Boyd's receiving and work on kickoff returns helped seal the deal.
Boyd finished last night with five catches for 72 yards and a nifty touchdown where he dodged a would-be-tackler, stretching past other Miami defenders for an early score. It wasn't just that for the sophomore, though, as he gave the Panthers a lift to start the game and after a few Hurricane scores to make sure momentum stayed on Pitt's side with solid kickoff returns. With returns of 38, 53, and 38 again, Boyd hit for 190 yards on six kickoff returns during the game. The returns set up Pitt to drive a short field on more than a couple of occasions and steal any thunder the Canes were building up.
His all-around effort beat out James Conner's strong outing. Despite a nagging hip injury, the Erie native chipped in with 75 yards rushing, 40 receiving, and two touchdowns to break Tony Dorsett's single season record. His effort was amazing considering the circumstances, but it wasn't enough to edge out Boyd.