ATLANTA — Already down quarterback Nick Patti after a first quarter shoulder injury, Pittsburgh’s offense suffered another blow in the Peach Bowl.
Running back Israel Abanikanda briefly returned to the game after suffering an early injury, but ultimately could not finish the game. The sophomore running back had just five carries for 16 yards rushing and no targets in the passing game.
Abanikanda’s last touch of the game was a rush for a loss of one yard with 2:33 remaining in the first quarter.
At that point in time he had five carries compared to only three for fellow running back Vincent Davis, but Davis took his place on the next drive and stayed there for the remainder of the first half. Rodney Hammond Jr. also got a little bit of action at running back with two carries for five yards in the second quarter after Abanikanda’s injury.
Abanikanda, who entered the game with 635 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns on the season, returned to the sideline in the third quarter wearing sweatpants.