Monday night, the Pittsburgh Panthers were annihilated by the Florida State Seminoles and their phenomenal redshirt freshman QB, Jameis Winston. But, let’s get one thing clear. Pitt didn’t lose that football game because they’re a bad football team by any means. No, they lost that game because they were overmatched by an old school juggernaut of a Florida State team. Pitt had very few players on the field that could match the athleticism and overall talent of the ‘Noles.
Well, except for one.
True freshman Tyler Boyd showed in his inaugural appearance that he belonged on the field with the elite in the nation. From the time that he committed to the Panthers from Clairton High School, just outside of Pittsburgh, there were whispers that a redshirt for him was out of the question. In short, he was just too talented of a football player to keep off the field.
Boyd finished the contest with 151 total yards on just eight touches. That averages out to 19 yards every time the speedster wide receiver has the ball in his possession. Against a defense that many consider one of the top in the nation’s like Florida State’s, that’s not too bad whatsoever.
But while he has the title “wide receiver’ attached to his name, not all of those touches were receptions. Two were receptions for 26 yards, three were rushes totaling 54 yards and three kick returns were added in totaling 71 yards.
On the first drive of the game, you could see his versatility shine through immediately. Boyd took a handoff from QB Tom Savage on a jet sweep and rocketed his way to an 18-yard gain directly through the vaunted Florida State defense. Making players on an FSU defense look bewildered and outmatched is a near impossible feat, yet Boyd did just that while he blazed his way through the hole.
As if that wasn’t enough, he then figured he’d land himself a spot on SportsCenter in the second half, just in case you didn’t get the message that he’s here to perform at the highest level and wow everyone in the process.
In the second half, Savage dropped back and fired off a wildly errant pass toward the sideline. Just as it looked as if the Panthers had just wasted a down, Boyd laid his body out in full stride, hauling in the pass and keeping an elbow in bounds.
Basically, Tyler Boyd will be the all-everything skilled position player for the Panthers. Much like Reggie Bush was listed as a RB during his days with the USC Trojans yet did a lot of his damage in the passing game and special teams as well, this is what Boyd will mean to this Pittsburgh program as they continue to raise themselves out of obscurity.
In a college football game that progresses yearly with more complex offensive schemes, sometimes you have a player that you simply just need to get the ball to and he’ll make something happen.
For the Pittsburgh Panthers, Tyler Boyd is that player and will be for the next three years. Scary, scary thought.
Jack is a Staff Writer for Saturday Blitz. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14CFB