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Three Pitt players were honored by the Atlantic Coast Conference today for their roles in the Panthers’ 23-20 victory at Syracuse.
Tyler Boyd was named the ACC’s Receiver of the Week, Matt Galambos was named Linebacker of the Week and Qadree Ollison was named Rookie of the Week. This is the second time this season each player has picked up a weekly ACC award.
The Panthers have had at least one player honored by the ACC each week this season. In total, nine Pitt players have earned a weekly league award in 2015.
Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) continues to be the most versatile player in the ACC, if not the entire nation. The junior wideout threw a 38-yard completion, rushed six times for 34 yards (5.7 avg.) and had a career-high 12 receptions for 93 yards in the Syracuse win. He accounted for nearly 40% of Pitt’s total yards (165 of 427). Boyd also had 75 kickoff return yards.
Per ESPN.com, Boyd became the first player to record 20 yards passing, rushing and receiving in consecutive games since UTEP’s Lorne Sam in 2007. (Against Georgia Tech, Boyd threw for 29 yards, rushed for 26 and had 68 receiving).
Boyd leads all ACC players in receptions (8.8) and receiving yards (81.5) per game. He is already Pitt’s all-time leading pass catcher with 216 career receptions in just 2½ seasons.
Galambos (Collingdale, Pa./The Haverford School) helped spark Pitt’s victory from his middle linebacker position and as an unlikely pass receiver.
Defensively, the junior had five tackles, a career-high three tackles for loss and an interception. With Pitt trailing 17-13 late in the third quarter and the Orange threatening at the Panthers’ 42, Galambos halted the drive by perfectly playing a pass over the middle for an INT. He had a key tackle for loss on the goal line that held Syracuse to a field goal in the second quarter and later had a two-yard TFL on 3rd-and-1 from the Pitt 45 that forced an Orange punt in the third period.
Galambos also played a role in the Panthers’ epic game-winning drive that covered 19 plays and ate up the final 9:20 on the clock. With Pitt facing 4th-and-7 at its own 48 with less than five minutes to go, Galambos helped execute a gutsy fake punt when he caught a 12-yard pass from Ryan Winslow, setting the Panthers up at the Orange 40. The play kept alive Pitt’s drive that concluded with Chris Blewitt’s game-winning 25-yard field goal as time expired.
Since 2006, Galambos is the only linebacker in the nation to record an interception and a reception in the same game (per ESPN.com).
Ollison (Niagara Falls, N.Y./Canisius) was Pitt’s workhorse on the ground, rushing for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries (4.5 avg.) He was especially instrumental during the Panthers’ final scoring march. Ollison converted three third downs on the drive (two 3rd-and-1 plays and a 3rd-and-6). His final rush on 3rd-and-6 went for seven yards and set up the game-winning field goal on the next play.
The redshirt freshman, who began the year as Pitt’s third-string tailback, now has 662 yards on 118 carries (5.6 avg.) and seven touchdowns in his debut season.
Ranked as high as No. 23 this week, Pitt enters Thursday’s showdown with North Carolina boasting a 6-1 overall record and 4-0 ACC mark. The Tar Heels are 6-1 and 3-0. The game will kick off at 7 p.m., and be nationally televised by ESPN.