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Pitt's Lewis named Big East Offensive Player of the Week

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Sophomore back ran for 261 yards and 4 TDs in Pitt win at Cincinnati

Pitt sophomore running back Dion Lewis has been named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Panthers’ 28-10 victory over Cincinnati this past weekend.

Lewis (Albany, N.Y./Blair Academy [N.J.]) accounted for all four Pitt touchdowns to power the Panthers past the Bearcats. Playing in snowy conditions that limited the passing game, Lewis carried 42 times for a career-high 261 yards (6.2 avg.). His four rushing TDs also marked a career best.

In two career games against Cincinnati, Lewis has rushed for 455 yards and seven TDs on 89 carries (5.1 avg.).

On the year, Lewis paces Pitt in rushing with 956 yards and 12 touchdowns on 197 carries (4.9 avg.). For his brief career, he has rushed for 2,755 yards and is eyeing former Pitt standout LeSean McCoy’s record for combined rushing yards as a freshman and sophomore. McCoy, now of the Philadelphia Eagles, rushed for 2,816 from 2007-08.

Lewis already ranks sixth on Pitt’s all-time career rushing yardage list, recently surpassing Elliott Walker (2,748 yards from 1974-77) and Curtis Martin (2,643 from 1991-94).

Pitt finished the regular season with a 7-5 overall record and tied for first place in the Big East with a 5-2 league mark. The Panthers will play Kentucky in the 2011 BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., on January 8. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN and kick off at noon ET.

This will be Pitt’s third consecutive postseason berth and 27th all-time bowl game appearance.

For tickets and travel package information, call the Panthers Ticket Office at (800) 643-PITT. The ticket office will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tickets and travel packages can also be purchased online. Go to Bowl Central at www.PittsburghPanthers.com.

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