Offense Preparing for Next ACC Rival

The offense showed what they can be capable of last Saturday but will it hold up against their next ACC opponent Duke?

Will fans get to see a repeat of last Saturday's show?

True freshmen James Conner was recruited by most schools as a defensive end while Pitt was one of the first schools to go after Conner as a running back. Even after only two games of him excelling at running back It would be hard to imagine Conner at any other position.

"I guess running backs going good so I'll stick with it," laughed Conner. Good doesn't exactly give justice to the young running back. In his second game against New Mexico, Conner rushed for 119-yards and scored two touchdowns. In his first showing against Florida State, Conner was limited to only nine carries with Pitt focusing on the passing game, but he split the carries with junior Isaac Bennett.

The 6-2, 230-pound back can't imagine if he would have taken the defensive end route. While he had a strong showing Saturday, Conner also fumbled the ball once. This week his focus is on better ball security and to be more focused. With being a true freshman comes inexperience so he must be focused come Saturday about limiting those mistakes. Conner will continue splitting the carries with Bennett until Rudolph says otherwise, and as long as he keeps getting chances Conner is determined to show he can run the ball even harder.

Another group catching a lot of attention are the receivers. True freshman Tyler Boyd has been the center of most of that attention after the show he put on at Heinz Field against New Mexico and since being named the "ACC receiver of the week". Even redshirt senior Devin Street can't deny the young wideouts talent.

"Boyd is a heck of a player and it's definitely showed in the first two games," said Street. "Teams have to be worry about two weapons now. Boyd is definitely a huge weapon in our offense."

Street is still an offensive weapon in his own right averaging 20.1 yards a catch so far this season. A third weapon on this offense could be junior tight end Manasseh Garner. The former Wisconsin defensive end and receiver is confident he could be Pitt's next weapon.

In fact, Garner made sure to leave an early impression on Pitt fans with the first touchdown completion of the season against FSU giving the Panthers a 7-0 start in their ACC debut. It was also the first touchdown Garner has had in three years. He recorded his last touchdown during his senior year. Garner couldn't think of a better way to break his scoring drought than in his Panther debut. He may have been surprised with how quickly he got his first touchdown as a Panther, but he's confident it won't be the last.

"I feel if you line me up against linebackers, corners or safeties I'm going to win against any of them," said Garner.

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