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Pitt Whiffs on Golden Chance at PSU Upset

Pitt Whiffs on Golden Chance at PSU Upset

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.

Stay with Pittsburgh Sports Now for more from Beaver Stadium.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Ed Rose
Ed Rose
1 year ago

The kids deserved better. The playing calling on the first and goal series was a joke. The free touchdown on the bad pass interference call in the first half was a joke, too. They had a legitimate chance to win. The players played really well. The coaches should be embarrassed for failing them in the play calling and not making any second half adjustments again. 3 straight games with no second half touchdowns

Mike Vukovcan
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Ed Rose

Only thing I disagree with was not going for it on 4th down.

Kevin
Kevin
1 year ago

I think (hope) we are getting better, but not sure what was up with not going for it on fourth down at the one. I like the play calling on the goal line but poor execution (blocking). Talent (speed) is much better at PSU but Pitt played amazing. We really need to play younger and more talented players. I did notice A LOT of holding by PSU O-linemen, and NO calls. Typical Happy Valley refs though.

joe murphy
joe murphy
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin

all day with the holding..

Mike Vukovcan
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Kevin

Narduzzi deserves all the criticism he gees for the 4th down call

Tom
Tom
1 year ago

This has been a theme–the coach stinks. He can recruit. And this team has talent and depth. But they will never be anything but a middling or below average team with Narduzzi. If he was hired in 1987, he would have been a better fit. But its 2019 and he’s not the guy. Occasionally the coach needs to help his team steal a win. He can’t do it. The players are there, the coaching is limited. It will always be that way. He talks about winning the coastal last year with a. 7-7 record like that means something. It doesn’t.… Read more »

Mike Vukovcan
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Tom

Good points Tom

Kirk Blazic
Kirk Blazic
1 year ago

I have no words for what complete horseshit that 4th and goal call was. Narduzzi has lost me.

Mike Vukovcan
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Blazic

You’re not alone Kirk.

Christopher J Veloz
Christopher J Veloz
1 year ago

The only thing worse than the awful 4th and 1 decision, was the HC defending it in postgame.
He’s totally clueless and/or in denial.

Mike Vukovcan
Admin
1 year ago

His defense of it was REALLY bad. Curious to see if he changes his opinion at his presser on Monday

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