Ray Graham 'unlikely' for Pitt opener

Pittsburgh starting running back Ray Graham is "unlikely to play" in the Panthers' season opener against Youngstown State on Sept. 1, sources told ESPN.

Graham, a senior, is recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered against Connecticut on Oct. 26 and has been limited in fall drills. Before last year's injury, he was the nation's second-leading rusher, averaging 134.1 yards per game.

In Graham's absence, sophomore Isaac Bennett is expected to start against Youngstown State. Bennett's backup is heralded freshman Rushel Shell, who is the leading rusher in Pittsburgh high school history.

If Graham misses the season opener, he also might be hard-pressed to play Pitt's second game just five days later at Cincinnati. The Panthers then host ACC power Virginia Tech on Sept. 15.

Brett McMurphy is a college football reporter for ESPN.