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Ray Graham leads Pitt second-half romp

10/2/2010

Pittsburgh more than took care of business against Florida International in the second half. The Panthers looked like the team we thought they might be in the preseason by racing past FIU 31-7 after halftime for a 44-17 win.


Now the real question is -- amazingly -- how does Pitt play Dion Lewis ahead of Ray Graham?

Graham rushed for 277 yards and had scores of 89, 34 and 19 yards on Saturday. In the history of Pitt football, only Tony Dorsett has ever had a better game. Yes, Lewis was an unbelievable freshman sensation last year and the Big East offensive player of the year. But the fact is, Graham has been better all throughout 2010, and with Lewis sidelined on Saturday with a shoulder injury, he showed how much he has potentially zoomed past his struggling classmate.

Has Lewis been Wally Pipp-ed? Remember that Graham had more accolades coming into last year, but Lewis had a head start by enrolling in January and ran with the opportunity. But Graham's ability to make defenders miss seems more valuable now that Pitt's offensive line can no longer just line up and mow people down.

Regardless, Graham had an amazingly impressive performance against a fairly solid defense, and look for him to get the bulk of the carries against Notre Dame next week. This was exactly the kind of second half Pitt needed after a lackluster first half left it with just a 13-10 lead.

The Panthers showed they'll still be a force to be dealt with in the Big East, and Graham might be the league's next superstar.