If we learned anything about the Pittsburgh Panthers on Thursday in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, it was that the Pittsburgh Panthers will be a force to be reckoned with next year in the ACC as the youngsters shined in the team’s 30-27 victory over the Bowling Green Falcons.
In the second half, redshirt sophomore QB Chad Voytik was forced to take the reins of the offense after starter Tom Savage did not return, nursing an apparent back injury.
Voytik made the most of his opportunity as he threw for 124 yards on 8-of-13 passing, including a beautiful 62-yard strike to freshman Tyler Boyd, which set up Voytik’s five-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to give his team a 27-20 lead at the time.
After Bowling Green answered with a touchdown of their own, Pitt drove the field once again and kicker Chris Blewitt knocked through a 39-yard field goal with about a minute left in the game, which would ultimately prove to be the game-winner.
But, it was freshman running back James Conner that really stole the show on this night.
Conner gashed the Bowling Green defense for a Pitt bowl record 229 yards on 26 carries with a touchdown. All night, the punishing Conner burst his way through the Falcons’ front seven.
True freshman Tyler Boyd put on one more show for everyone, this time with the national stage all to himself, with eight receptions for 173 yards. He also returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown in the first half.
The young Pitt Panthers put the entire ACC Coastal Division on notice this evening.