Things didn’t go Pitt’s way in the team’s 27-24 loss to Syracuse on Saturday. But the Panthers did have a few bright spots.
Rafael Araujo-Lopes led all receivers in the game with 100 yards (on seven catches). Alex Kessman nailed all three of his field goals from 42, 49, and 56 yards. Linebacker Sean Idowu had another big game with nine tackles and a game-high two sacks.
But for me, the best player on the field was Jordan Whitehead.
Whitehead played double duty on offense and defense, as he often does. He was also pretty successful at both. On defense, his nine tackles were second on Pitt’s team and he also had a huge pass breakup in the end zone, preventing a touchdown on excellent coverage.
Offensively, he was also arguably Pitt’s biggest weapon. He was the best ball-carrier on both sides, carrying seven times for 73 yards and a 10.4-ypc average, while also scoring one of Pitt’s two touchdowns.
That wasn’t it, either. When Pitt needed a two-point conversion late in the game to cut Syracuse’s lead to three, he got the call and got the big conversion.
All told, Whitehead had a really big game on both sides of the ball and that was too hard to ignore. Would you give the award to anyone else?