Junior Dan Hutchins kicked an 18-yard field goal as time expired, and Pitt rallied to defeat visiting Connecticut, 24-21, this afternoon at Heinz Field.
Pitt trailed 21-6 with less than four minutes to play in the third quarter, but scored the final 18 points of the game to take over sole possession of first place in the Big East.
With Pitt down 21-6, senior quarterback Bill Stull threw touchdown passes of 26 yards to Jonathan Baldwin late in the third quarter and 27 yards to Dorin Dickerson with 7:35 to play in the game. Stull’s pass to Cedric McGee for the two-point conversion knotted the game at 21-all.
After Pitt (5-1, 2-0) forced Connecticut (3-2, 0-1) to punt, the Panthers took over at their own 25 with 6:14 to play. They drove to the Connecticut 1 on 12 plays – highlighted by a 28-yard pass to redshirt freshman wide receiver Mike Shanahan to the UConn 16 — and won the game on Hutchins’ field goal.
Stull completed 21 of 31 pass attempts for 268 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Dion Lewis carried 24 times for 156 yards. Jonathan Baldwin caught eight receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Connecticut quarterback Cody Endres, a Washington, Pa., native, finished 17 of 23 for 197 yards and one touchdown.
Connecticut had six total yards in the fourth quarter. Pitt rushed for 221 yards on 40 carries, and amassed 489 total yards against a Connecticut defense that entered the game ranked fourth in the nation in yards allowed per game.
Connecticut had taken a 21-6 lead with 3:56 to play in the third quarter on a run-heavy, 61-yard drive capped by Andre Dixon’s 2-yard touchdown dive.
Pitt trailed 7-3 at halftime and fell behind 14-3 early in the second quarter when Connecticut safety Robert Vaughn returned a Bill Stull interception 33 yards for a touchdown.
On the Panthers’ next possession, Lewis carried five times for 68 yards to a first-and-goal at the UConn 8. But the drive stalled and Pitt settled for a 19-yard field goal from Hutchins to trim the Huskies’ lead to 14-6.
Connecticut took the ensuing kickoff and marched 61 yards on eight plays, capped by Andre Dixon’s 2-yard dive to give the Huskies a 21-6 lead.
A 26-yard touchdown pass from Stull to Baldwin pulled the Panthers back to within 21-13 with 12 seconds to play in the third quarter.