PITTSBURGH — Pitt had an opportunity to send its senior class out with a home victory and wrap up its third eight-win season under head coach Pat Narduzzi on Saturday against Boston College at Heinz Field.
Instead, the Panthers fumbled it away.
Pitt fumbled three times in their own end of the field and Kenny Pickett was intercepted inside the Boston College 10-yard line, giving Boston College more than its entire margin of victory in a 26-19 Eagles victory.
Freshman wide receiver Jared Wayne and running backs A.J. and Vincent Davis all fumbled the ball away, while Pickett was intercepted as Pitt was driving and in field goal range in the third quarter.
Pitt also had four pre-snap penalties on offense, all by seniors, one of which took a touchdown off the board in the first quarter.
Those four turnovers were turned into four Aaron Boumerhi field goals for Boston College, which also added an early touchdown on a 25-yard pass from Dennis Grosel to Hunter Long.
But Pitt clawed back into the game with four Alex Kessman field goals. After a shanked Boston College early in the third quarter, Vincent Davis took the first play 39 yards for a score out of the Wildcat.
But Boston College answered right back three plays later with a 61-yard rush by star running back A.J. Dillon. To more turnover-aided Boumerhi field goals pushed the Eagles to their final margin of victory.
Pitt had a chance to get the ball back late, but the defense, already on the field for over 30 minutes, ran out of steam and couldn’t contain Dillon. He finished with 178 yards and the score on 32 carries. Boston College as a team ran for 264 yards.
Pickett threw for 323 yards on 30 of 40 passing, but never found the end zone, as both of Pitt’s drives inside the red zone ended in field goals. Wayne was his most prolific target, with six catches for 100 yards. Maurice Ffrench had nine grabs for 79 yards.
But the negative plays hurt Pitt throughout. Pickett was sacked four times, losing 30 yards. Pitt averaged 6.1 yards per play, but were dominated in time of possession by nearly 10 minutes.
The 7-5 Panthers will now await their bowl selection next Sunday.