The oddsmakers forecast that today’s Pitt-Ohio U. game would be a close one with there being only a four point spread. However, the Panthers overall talent and depth proved to be too much as Pitt defeated Ohio 20-10.
The storyline of the game for the Panthers was the breakout of Mark Whipple’s passing game. After a below average season debut, Pickett responded by going 26-37 for 321 yards , which was a career-high in both completions and passing yards. The junior quarterbacks top target was senior wide receiver Maurice Ffrench who finished the game with 138 yards and earned the first 100-yard game of his career.
Pitt got on the scoreboard first on their second drive of the game with a 27-yard field by Alex Kessman. After having the drive extended on a 3rd down roughing the penalty on Ohio, Pickett connected on passes to Aaron Mathews (twice), Taysir Mack and Tre Tipton before stalling inside the Bobcats 20-yard line.
The Pitt defense stepped up and held Ohio to three-and-outs on two of the next three possessions. Key plays on those drives were:
- A great open field tackle by Phil Campbell and Chase Pine on Julian Ross preventing an Ohio first down.
- A yard tackle for loss by Jason Pinnock and Habakkuk Baldonado on Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke.
- Deslin Alexandre sacks Rourke on 3rd and 8.
Midway through the second quarter, Pitt scored their first touchdown of the game when Pitt’s most dangerous offensive weapon struck. On a 3rd & 4, Pickett scrambled and found Ffrench who raced down the field for a 74 yard touchdown reception.
On their next possession, Pitt extended their lead to 17-0 when freshman running back Vincent Davis ran it in from 3 yards out. This was the first series and college carry for Davis. The tight ends were a big part of this drive as Pickett connected once with Nakia Griffin-Stewart and and twice with Will Gragg.
After stopping Ohio in the red zone and forcing them to a short field goal, Pitt went to halftime leading 17-3.
The Panthers only scoring in the 3rd quarter came on a 8-play, 55 yard drive, which ended in a Kessman 41-yard field goal. Big plays in the drive were a 11 yard pass to Gragg, 20 yards to Tipton and 22 yards to Mack.
Ohio managed a touchdown drive late in the 3rd quarter and scored what would be their only touchdown of the game on a 7-yard De’Montre Tuggle run at the 4:04 mark.
Pitt took a 20-10 lead going into the fourth quarter, which would end up being the final score.
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) September 7, 2019