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Pitt Football

Israel Abanikanda Joins Exclusive List of Pitt Running Backs With 20th Touchdowns

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It’s not likely that Israel Abanikanda will break James Conner’s single season rushing touchdown record of 26, set back in the 2014 season, but he could be in second place by the time the night is done.

With Abanikanda’s second rushing touchdown of the night against Miami, he crossed the 20-touchdown threshold and joined James Conner, Tony Dorsett and LeSean McCoy in rushing for 20 touchdowns in a season.

Conner ran for 26 in 2014, Dorsett ran for 22 in 1976 and McCoy ran for 21 in 2008.

Abanikanda has run for touchdowns in eight of his 10 games this season, and he’s hit the multi-touchdown mark against Rhode Island, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and now Miami. His six-touchdown performance against VT tied the program record set way back in 1910 by Norman Bill Budd.

In the first half of Pitt’s game against Miami, Abanikanda racked up 90 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries to help push the lead to 28-0.

Abanikanda’s 20th rushing touchdown, his 21st total touchdown of the season, pushed back into the lead for college football’s leading scorer this season.

With 1,410 rushing yards and 20 rushing touchdowns, Abanikanda is now eighth in single-season rushing yards, fourth in single-season rushing touchdowns and putting the finishing touches on one of the best seasons by a Pitt running back ever.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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