Despite some early success last year as a true freshman, Pitt running back Chawntez Moss had sort of disappeared.
Moss had some promising games in the first half of 2016. Specifically, in a three-game stretch against North Carolina, Marshall, and Georgia Tech, he had 27 carries for 189 yards and a touchdown. With a healthy 7.0 ypc, there were times that he legitimately looked like the best running back on the team.
After that, though, Moss kind of fell off the map. James Conner reemerged as the clear-cut No. 1 back and Moss dealt with some injury issues. He had seven carries against Virginia in October but after that had only six carries with limited success.
This year, Moss got off to a slow start. He didn't record a carry against Youngstown State in the opener, possibly due to an injury, and wasn't even initially on the two-deep for the first two games of the year. But Moss got 11 carries against Penn State and had a team-high 12 against Oklahoma State last week, so he's been getting worked back into the mix.
Moss hasn't been great despite the somewhat heavy workload of late. Against Penn State and Oklahoma State, he had only 82 rushing yards total and a modest 3.6 ypc. But you can tell that he's impressing the coaches because he's not only receiving carries but moving up the depth chart. Last week against Oklahoma State, he made his first appearance there, checking in as the No. 2 back. This week, he's even higher, earning an 'OR' designation with Ollison as the team's potential starter.
Part of the reason for the move up could be because of Ollison's miserable game last weekend against Oklahoma State. On seven carries, he rushed for only six yards. He also caught only one pass (a seven-yard gain), which was his lowest receiving total on the year, making him a virtual non-factor.
I'm glad to see Moss get back in the mix. He hasn't been great this year but, perhaps with more carries, he might able to establish a little bit of a rhythm. Pitt will surely need the points this weekend and, judging by the depth chart, Moss appears like he'll get a chance to make some plays.