James Conner kicked off the game with two touchdowns and 74 yards in just one quarter of play in yesterday's 45-37 win over Youngstown State. Nicholas Grigsby played like a man possessed. He was all over the place. Yet, the Panther of the Game goes to a player who was playing his first career game and was considered to be somewhat buried on the depth chart. When Conner went down early with an injury and Chris James couldn't get going, freshman Qadree Ollison stepped up.
The New York state native made the most of his opportunities, which all came in the second half. He finished with 207 yards on just 16 carries and scored a touchdown. Ollison was explosive and hit the holes hard as he finished with runs of 46, 52, and 71 yards. The 71-yard gallop was for Ollison's lone touchdown on the day and the 46-yard rumble was on his first carry of the game.
When a player of Conner's caliber goes down and you are already without someone like Tyler Boyd, someone has to step up and Ollison made the most of his chance yesterday. He gives the Panthers yet another running back to help lessen Conner's load. Hopefully his injury is not too serious, but if it is, Ollison looks ready to contribute and keep the Pitt offense humming.