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Four Panthers earn ACC player of the week honors

It was a big week for the Panthers in claiming ACC awards

NCAA Football: Duke at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Panthers are on a roll getting their third win in a row coming up with a 28-26 win over the Duke Blue Devils. The ACC took notice of just how many Panthers performed at a high level that game handing out four players of the week awards to Pitt players. Israel Abanikanda, Ben Sauls, SirVocea Dennis, and Brandon Hill all took home honors in their respective positions.

Israel Abanikanda took home his 4th ACC running back of the Week title. Abanikanda had his 8th 100-yard game on the season while scoring a touchdown and 2-pt conversion. The 8th 100-yard game was the first time a player has had that many 100-yard games since Dion Lewis back in 2009.

Ben Sauls won ACC Specialist of the Week adding 8 points on the scoreboard for the Panthers. In cold and windy conditions, Sauls was able to make a 47 and 51-yard field goal and two extra points. The 51-yard field goal was the longest since Alex Kessman in 2020 when he made a 53-yarder against Virginia Tech. This was Sauls’ first time winning the ACC Specialist of the week award.

SirVocea Dennis won the ACC Linebacker of the Week after a huge game for the Panther’s defense which was the reason the Panthers came away with the victory. Dennis had a career-high 14 tackles including a tackle for loss against the Blue Devils. The Linebacker also forced a fumble and made the gaming-winning sack on the two-point conversion that sealed the Panther’s victory.

Last but certainly not least, Brandon Hill won the ACC Defensive Back of the Week award. This was Hill’s first ACC DB of the Week award this season and the third in his career. The highlight was the scoop and score in the fourth quarter that pushed the Panther’s lead to 28-14 with 13:30 left in the game. Hill also had a pass breakup and eight total tackles in the victory over Duke.