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Sept. 23, 2013

    PITTSBURGH—Usually freshmen have to wait their turn to bask in the spotlight.

    That isn’t the case for Pitt receiver Tyler Boyd and running back James Conner. Just three games into their first college season and both players are producing at veteran levels – and capturing the national spotlight in the process.

    For the second consecutive week, Boyd (Clairton, Pa./Clairton) has been named the 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week. Additionally, Boyd and Conner (Erie, Pa./McDowell) have been named co-winners of Athlon Sports’ National Freshman of the Week award.

    The honors come in the wake of their standout performances at Duke this past Saturday, a hard-fought 58-55 win by the Panthers.

    Boyd averaged 19.3 yards per reception, catching eight passes for 154 yards and three touchdowns. His scores covered 27, 69 and 14 yards as he became the first Pitt freshman to catch three TDs in a game since Larry Fitzgerald did it against Virginia Tech in 2002. Boyd has posted consecutive 100-yard receiving efforts in his past two games, the first Pitt frosh to accomplish that since Antonio Bryant in 1999. (Fitzgerald and Bryant would both win the Biletnikoff Award as sophomores at Pitt.)

    Boyd has 16 catches for 314 yards (19.6 avg.) and four touchdowns on the season. He also has a 33-yard rushing TD. Boyd leads the ACC and ranks ninth nationally (tied) with four touchdown catches. He also leads the ACC and ranks fifth nationally in all-purpose yardage with 195.0 per game.

    Conner churned out a career-high 173 yards on 26 carries (6.7 avg.) with a TD against Duke. For the second consecutive game he was not stopped behind the line of scrimmage en route to a 100-yard game. The week prior, he had 119 yards on 12 carries (9.9 avg.) and two TDs against New Mexico.

    On the year, Conner leads Pitt in rushing with 326 yards and three touchdowns on 47 carries (6.9 avg.). He ranks second in the ACC (27th nationally) with an average of 108.7 yards per game.

    The Panthers (2-1, 1-1 ACC) are eyeing a third consecutive victory when Virginia (2-1, 0-0) visits Heinz Field for an ACC Coastal Division matchup this Saturday, Sept. 28, at 12:30 p.m. The game will be televised locally by ROOT SPORTS.

    For ticket information, log on to or call 800-643-PITT (7488). 



Boyd and Conner garner national spotlight and awards

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