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    January 2010
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Shady Vs. Dion by the numbers

This may be the best stretch of Backs in Pitt history. In 2007 little-known Freshman LeSean McCoy burst into the National scene with outstanding speed and quickness. His Sophomore season was even better and it looked like his Junior season would be the best yet. That never happened however, and Shady went pro and starting running for the Philadelphia Eagles instead.

Former Pitt tailback LeSean McCoy ran wild in '07 and '08

When Shady left it was a sad day in Pittsburgh. Everyone thought that they would be in trouble with no dominate back. This problem was solved,however. When young Dion Lewis showed up on campus nobody even knew his name. Now nobody can forget it. The young man nick-named: “Shady Who”, has been, in statistics, Pitt’s best Freshman back ever. Let’s look at both backs numbers in their freshman years. Now remember Shady had an extra season so I’ll disregard his Sophomore year. These are rushing stats only.

Freshman halfback Dion Lewis was Pitt's best asset in '09

First up Shady in 2007:

  • 276 Rushing Attempts
  • 1,328 Rushing Yards
  • 4.8 Yards Per Rush
  • 14 Rushing Touchdowns
  • 0 Fumbles

Now it’s Dion’s turn:

  • 325 Rushing Attempts
  • 1,799 Rushing Yards
  • 5.5 Yards Per Rush
  • 17 Rushing Touchdowns
  • 0 Fumbles

Now say what you will, but it’s obvious that Dion had the better Freshman year. Shady had a great Sophomore year also; let’s hope that Dion does too. Another thing to consider is that Pitt went 5-7 in 2007 and went 10-3 in 2009 with a Bowl win. So I think that Dion did better in the stats department, but Shady really carried the team more. His lack of yardage may reflect upon the fact that he had a lesser team around him. In 2007 Pitt did not have good Quarterback play. Pitt had Stull playing great this year and in 2007 Pat Bostick did not play well at all. Both backs will go down as Pittsburgh greats. 

One thing is certain, Wannstedt can recruit some amazing backs.


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