With wide receiver Tyler Boyd catching a personal-best 12 passes, he certainly drew consideration for Panther of the Game. It was a tough call, but I went with running back Qadree Ollison in Pitt's 23-20 win over Syracuse yesterday. Ollison had a great game in his homecoming yesterday, as the Niagara Falls native had a tremendous effort to help lift Pitt to a 6-1 record this season.
Boyd also had another great all-purpose game with another pass completion, 34 rushing yards, and 93 receiving yards. However, Ollison got the nod thanks to not only his two touchdowns, but also his late game heroics in helping Pitt get down the field on the final drive. And while Boyd's game was a spectacular one, too, it's worth pointing out that many of his receptions were of the swing pass/bubble screen variety - hence his modest yardage total despite 12 receptions.
The day, however, belonged to Ollison, with a lot of friends and family in the Carrier Dome. The redshirt freshman finished the day with 103 yards and the two scores. He also seemed to learn his lesson from earlier in the season about stretching the ball out for the goal line as he approaches, as he barreled into paydirt yesterday instead of stretching.
Not only did Ollison have a fine overall day, but he finished off Syracuse when it mattered most in the fourth quarter. He took over for Chris James in the middle of Pitt's final drive of the day and the Panthers called on #37 seven straight times. He delivered with 31 yards, pushing Pitt to the Orange 6-yard line for the chip shot Chris Blewitt game winner.