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Pitt Falls Apart in 24-7 Loss to No. 4 Florida State

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Pitt tight end Gavin Bartholomew.

PITTSBURGH — I don’t think there’s ever been one play that has summed up a Pitt season as perfectly as Konata Mumpfield’s 81-yard gain against Florida State.

Mumpfield, one of the few constants offensively this season, broke open — wide open — downfield early in the second quarter. He hauled in a bomb from Christian Veilleux, racing away from the Seminoles’ secondary as he neared the end zone. But as he neared the end zone, FSU safety Fentrell Cypress II ripped the ball out at the 1 and recovered the ball in the end zone.

No points, Florida State ball at the 25 — and a missed facemask, for good measure.

And yet, Pitt still had a chance well into the third quarter to pull off a monumental upset. But with 10 penalties for 76 yards (some deserved and others maybe less so), nine punts, three turnovers and just one touchdown, Pitt slowly unraveled throughout the second half on the way to a 24-7 loss at Acrisure Stadium.

Veilleux completed 15-of-35 pass attempts (43%) for 244 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and the Panthers mustered under 100 rushing yards once again — failing to capitalize on a heroic defensive effort.

It may not have been two interceptions this time, but the Pitt defense forced a Lawrance Toafili fumble at right about midfield and stuffed Trey Benson at the Pitt 7-yard line on 4th-and-2, a yard short of the line to gain. And the Panthers, once again, couldn’t get any sort of offensive consistency.

Frank Cignetti Jr. had his offense looking woefully unprepared as it tried — unsuccessfully — to rush up the gut against a stout Florida State defensive front over and over.

Pitt mustered just one first down in the first quarter, 19 yards in the process, to complement a defensive effort that forced a fumble, a turnover on downs and two punts. And the second quarter, when it finally looked like Pitt caught its wind, the sails were shredded apart by Cypress.

But you can’t fault the Panthers’ compete level, and you can’t fault Veilleux’s moxie either. Veilleux completed both pass attempts — following a third straight ‘Noles three-and-out — to Bub Means, including a 9-yard jump ball in the end zone that Means ripped away from Renardo Green.

And just like that, just when it looked impossible, Pitt held a 7-0 lead. Florida State couldn’t be held down forever though, and Travis led an answering drive — diving into the end zone from a yard out to level the score. The ‘Noles did eventually take the lead, though, nailing a 32-yarder just before the halftime break.

Pitt appeared to be on its way at least having the chance to tie the game at 10, facing a 4th-and-4 from the ‘Noles 26, but well, well after the play was over and a Florida State player was being attended to by trainers near the Pitt sideline, an unsportsmanlike penalty was called on Gavin Bartholomew — in what ended up being another turning point in the game.

Pitt was backed out of field goal range, Caleb Junko shanked a 21-yard punt and the ‘Noles drove 80 yards to take a 10-point lead with a 22-yard touchdown of its own.

Pitt wasn’t able to respond once again, punting for the eighth time on the afternoon, and it took Florida State just two plays to drive 85 yards — a 55-yarder from Benson serving as the dagger to the heart. Trailing 24-7, Pitt (for some reason) tried to establish the run, giving the ball to Rodney Hammond Jr. a few times and even bringing in Phil Jurkovec for a sneak, but a Veilleux interception ended the drive before any sort of payoff.

It didn’t get any better as Pitt received another fourth quarter possession, with Means fumbling the ball away inside Pitt territory. And the ‘Noles chose not to score another touchdown as the clock wound down in the fourth quarter.

Pitt (2-7, 1-5 ACC) will hit the road next weekend, traveling to the Bronx to take on Syracuse at Yankee Stadium on Nov. 11. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Adam
Adam
8 months ago

I’d really like to know what mean words Gavin said that had that poor referee’s feelings hurt so bad!

SeminoleChop
SeminoleChop
8 months ago

PITT fans need to Calm down. FSU rested it’s Varsity to be healthy against Miami next Week.

TJ
TJ
8 months ago

Tough loss .. we have a razor thin margin for success and just can’t afford any mess ups. unfortunately tonight, drops, fumbles and bad penalties abounded.

Young
Young
8 months ago

Did Hammond play any in the first half?

Kelvin Byrd
Kelvin Byrd
8 months ago

Cignetti. That’s the first guy that needs fired.

Tonight.

JHoff14
JHoff14
8 months ago
Reply to  Kelvin Byrd

I think everyone needs to call the athletic directors office and start demanding that she fires cignetti

srs28704
srs28704
8 months ago
Reply to  JHoff14

Really? You must have missed our 4th and 1 to the 5th String QB conversion. #5 get’s in the game and get’s 2-yards for us.
That is game planning!
Meanwhile all the WR looked lost two Weeks in a row on hot routes.

Rob Radich
Rob Radich
8 months ago
Reply to  JHoff14

Ok. Like she’d listen to a yinzer jagoff.

Baki Smolder
Baki Smolder
8 months ago

Coach Cig and overall lack of talent and discipline have this team dead in the water. 2 years removed from the Peach bowl instead of building a perennial 10 win team yearly, it is time to blow it up and rebuild completely.

Jane
Jane
8 months ago
Reply to  Baki Smolder

Thanks coach🙄

Jane
Jane
8 months ago

Look at stats all 3 QB old frankly has coached have just about the same stats… sorry he needs to go

JimC.
JimC.
8 months ago

Pitt is starting to settle in as a mid major program, why ??? simple, Narduzzi,s poor hires as co-coordinators, continuing recruiting classes in the bottom half of the top 50, etc, never able to bring in a top QB prospect, etc. When we have a head coach with a one track mind, ie, press coverage type defense and gives total control of his offense to his OC, this is what we get. 2024 recruiting class if we are lucky will be about 25-30 ranking, providing none bail.

Agent Zero
Agent Zero
8 months ago

Lincoln Riley showed today that if your a coordinator and your unit doesn’t play up to snuff.You’re gone.Narduzzi can learn a thing or two from a younger more accomplished head coach..But he won’t.Cignetti will get to coach out the year

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