PITTSBURGH — Pitt definitely has a full-blown quarterback controversy after Max Browne was pulled in favor of Ben DiNucci in the Panthers’ 59-21 loss to No. 9 Oklahoma State on Saturday.
But that’s far from the team’s biggest problem.
Pitt’s defense essentially no-showed the first half, giving up 42 points on the first six drives of the game.
Star wide receiver James Washington was clearly Pitt’s focus, with the Panthers using Avonte Maddox to mostly hold him in check.
Instead, it was the slot receivers that did the damage, with Jalen McCleskey scoring three touchdowns and getting 162 yards as one of four Cowboys to go over 100 yards.
Safeties Bricen Garner and Dennis Briggs were the victims of the Cowboys passing strategy, particularly on 3rd down. Oklahoma State went 9 for 9 on third down in the first half.
DiNucci did provide something of a spark to the offense, leading Pitt to two touchdown drives, but he also had two interceptions and one of them was returned for a touchdown.
Jason Pinnock fell on a loose ball to score a special teams touchdown. He was one of several young players that saw extensive action late in the game including Therran Coleman, Damar Hamlin, Chase Pine, Elias Reynolds, Phil Campbell and Patrick Jones.