PITTSBURGH — It was not the drama-free rout the Panthers had in their season opener a season ago, but the Pitt Panthers still rolled to a big victory, easily topping UMass 51-7 at Heinz Field on Saturday.
Kenny Pickett was extremely efficient in directing a passing offense, and the Pitt defense looked dominant in holding the UMass offense to just 209 total yards.
Pickett threw first-quarter touchdowns to Lucas Krull and Jordan Addison and also contributed with his legs. He finished 27 of 37 for 272 yards and two touchdowns and rushed six times for 39 yards.
The Panthers did not lean heavily on the running game in the early going, but did so more as the lead against an overmatched UMass squad grew. In total, nine players carried the ball as Pitt rushed 41 times for 222 yards, for a 5.4 yards per carry average.
True freshman Rodney Hammond Jr. was the most productive, gaining 44 yards on eight carries, while four different backs scored: Israel Abanikanda, Daniel Carter, A.J. Davis and Vincent Davis.
Pitt’s defense kept UMass off the board until the fourth quarter and limited the Minutemen to just 209 yards of total offense.
Some stumbling blocks for Pitt included five fumbles, two of which went over to UMass, and a missed extra point by kicker Sam Scarton, who shared duties with Ben Sauls.
Pitt will now move on to more significant foes, visiting Tennessee next Saturday.