Paul Johnson praises Pitt’s defense, James Connor and Tyler Boyd in press conference


During Paul Johnson’s weekly press conference Tuesday morning, he talked about the strength of Pittsburgh’s defense and the talent that James Connor brings the Panthers at running back.

“Pitt is a very good football team, very good defensively,” he said. “I think in the top five in most defensive categories. Really good running back in (James) Connor, and Tyler Boyd is one of the best receivers in the league so it will be a challenge to go up there and play against a team who’s coming off a big win for them against Virginia Tech last game.”

In total defense, the Panthers come in at No. 5 in the nation, right behind Alabama. They allow just 280.4 yards per game and 4.59 yards per play. Pitt is seventh in the country in passing yards allowed, giving up just 168.3 yards per game. When it comes to the rushing defense, they are No. 18, giving up 112.1 yards on the ground per game and just 3.35 yards per rush. Those �are all extremely good numbers.

Now, let’s take a look at what Connor and Boyd have done for the Panthers.

Connor has rushed for 959 yards so far this season with 172 carries (5.6 yard average) and scored 11 touchdowns. Against Virginia Tech last week, Connor ran for 85 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Boyd has been the top target for Chad Voytik all season, hauling in 36 catches for 514 yards and five touchdowns. Against Virginia Tech, he had 86 yards on six receptions and found the endzone once as well.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will take on the Panthers this Saturday at 3:30 where the Coastal Division will inevitably shake up once again. Overcoming the Pitt defense and keeping Connor and Boyd in check will certainly be focuses for the team as they prepare throughout the week.