Last weekend we went with the sentimental pick for Panther of the Game and it went to James Conner. Quadree Henderson received a special mention as well and many felt he should have been awarded the honor. Yesterday, against hated rival Penn State, Henderson left me little choice. Though, it was once again down to those same two players in Pitt’s victory.
Conner came through nicely with over 100 yards rushing and notching two more touchdowns. But Henderson, a sophomore, edges him out due to jet sweeps, which kept Penn State’s defense off balance and opened up some running lanes for the Panther running backs all afternoon. I’ll be honest, we could have given the Panther of the Game to the offensive line or Matt Canada for the way this game went. For the most part, the Nittany Lions didn’t know which end was up, but a fair amount of that was due to the success of Henderson’s runs.
Still, late in the game, it was still a tough call for this award, but that’s when Henderson took over. With a tight ball game and Pitt reeling a bit, the Wilmington, DE native took a Penn State kickoff and raced 84 yards to put Pitt in position for another James Conner touchdown. After that play, we just couldn’t deny the 5’8” wide receiver. He gave Penn State fits all afternoon and handed Panther fans a reason to smile wide when walking all over the state of Pennsylvania.