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Pitt Football

Pat Narduzzi Confirms Israel Abanikanda Had ‘Tweak,’ Unavailable in 2nd Half



PITTSBURGH — Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi confirmed that running back Israel Abanikanda suffered a minor injury in Saturday’s 48-38 Pitt win over Virginia.

Abanikanda scored on a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter, but played just sparingly in the second half.

“Izzy wasn’t available,” Narduzzi said. “He got a little tweak. He’ll be fine. He’s got good dance moves in there post-game, so he’s fine. We wanted to make sure that he’s going to be okay.”

In place of Abanikanda, Vincent Davis and Rodney Hammond saw increased playing time in the second half and had success. Davis rushed 12 times for 100 yards and Hammond had 15 carries for 66 and a fourth-quarter touchdown.

“You guys ask all the time, why do we rotate those guys? Because we trust everybody,” Narduzzi said. “Vincent Davis had a great day. Rodney’s a bull. He had some terrific runs there near the end. You can’t win championships with one guy. You need to have a few.”

Four other Pitt players left the game with injuries: quarterback Kenny Pickett, center Owen Drexel and cornerbacks Damarri Mathis and Marquis Williams. All were able to return.

Pitt played without right guard Jake Kradel, right tackle Gabe Houy, defensive tackle Keyshon Camp and wide receivers Jaylon Barden, Taysir Mack and Melquise Stovall.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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1 year ago

Saturday is a dangerous day in the ACC because three teams are on the bubble for automatic bowl eligibility, Syracuse, Florida State and Virginia Tech. Only non-eligible teams are Georgia Tech and Duke.

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