Pitt running back James Conner had a relatively light workload in the Panthers' opener. In the 62-0 rout, Pitt didn't need him all that much and he ended up taking only 14 carries. Things have changed over the past two games, however.
Conner toted the ball 36 times against Boston College and also broke the 30-carry mark against FIU with 31 on Saturday. And even though Conner has been running wild and getting a lot of open space, with his bruising style, one has to wonder about the heavy load he's seen over the past two games.
All of those carries has meant there's been little left for the other backs. Pitt's other backs that have gotten carries in the past two games, Chris James and Isaac Bennett, have combined for only 12 in those games. When you add it all up, Conner has taken on about 85% of the team's carries these past two games.
That's really not idea and with Pitt in the easier portion of their schedule, you'd actually want the exact opposite through three games. It would be good to not only get Conner some rest, but get the other guys (particularly, James, the true freshman), some more work. That happened against Delaware, but since then, Conner has been doing the bulk of the work.
This early in the year, it's not too bad. And the flipside is that he's thrown himself into the early Heisman discussion ranking near the top of the rushing charts. Plus, the fact that he's having so much success makes it hard to take him off the field. But you'd think that Conner will eventually need to share a bit more of the load. 30+ carries a game has to mean that he'll be a little worn down by the end of the season, and that won't help Pitt in the long run.
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