STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Coming into the 100th — and possibly final — game between Pitt and Penn State at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, the Panthers’ chances were lightly regarded by most pundits.
Going off as 17-point underdogs, Pitt gave Penn State everything they could handle, keeping it a one-score game until deep into the fourth quarter.
But despite Pitt’s best all-around effort of the season, that fourth quarter is what fans will remember.
With the Panthers trailing by a touchdown, Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett led an inspired drive down the field that including a fourth-down conversion on a big pass to tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart.
Pickett then hit Taysir Mack on a jump ball just short of the left pylon, leaving Pitt with a 1st-and-goal from the one. Pitt threw incomplete on first down, Pickett was stuffed on an option keeper on second down, and was pressured into an incompletion on third down.
With 4:59 on the clock, Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi elected to kick a 19-yard field goal instead of face 4th-and-1. Alex Kessman missed it.
Pitt was able to get the ball back with 1:56 to play, but that drive also fell short, leaving the Panthers on the short end of an exciting, but disappointing 17-10 final.
Pickett had his best game as a Panther. The junior quarterback finished 35 of 51 for 372 yards. Vincent Davis scored Pitt’s lone touchdown on a 3-yard carry.
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