This year, we'll again be bringing you a Panther of the Week after each football game. That said, it's really hard to figure out who the player of the game is when Pitt wins a game by a score of 62-0. How do you focus on one guy when so many players came out ready to play and made a statement?
The focus for a very long time when things didn't go the Panthers' way was the offensive line. It always seemed there was little room to run for Pitt's running backs and even less time for Panther quarterbacks in the past. This year provided some excitement for the men up front and Pitt proved that, for at least the opener, they could be ready to turn the corner. It is why we didn't come up with just one guy for the Pitt Player of the Game, but five...or rather six really: the offensive line.
Well, since Pitt kept rolling and rolling all game long, you can give it to every linemen that came into the game for Pitt, but six guys stuck out and played the most and inflicted the most damage on the Blue Hens Saturday. Paul Chryst mixed in Jaryd Jones-Smith with the starting five of Adam Bisnowaty, Dorian Johnson, Artie Rowell, Matt Rotheram, and TJ Clemmings to push Delaware around. They opened up massive holes for James Conner, Chris James, and a host of other Panthers to the tune of 409 yards rushing. Let that one sink in for a moment...409 yards rushing!
We could have selected Conner for putting in four touchdowns or freshman James for putting up 77 more yards rushing, or even Rachid Ibrahim for throwing in 91 more, but the hogs up front deserve the credit for yesterday's win and it's been a long time coming for them. They also gave Chad Voytik and Trey Anderson plenty of time to throw the ball to go a combined 11 for 14. Many were excited coming into the season and Saturday proved to be worthy of that anticipation. Can they continue to play at a good level when the competition goes up? We won't have to wait long when Pitt travels to Boston College for Friday night's game with the Eagles.