Pitt needed nearly 24 minutes before mustering a first down, and trails No. 19 Miami, 10-0, at halftime at Heinz Field.
The Panthers went three-and-out on its first four possessions and didn’t manage its initial first down until 6:00 remained in the first half.
Pitt was outgained 204-76 in the opening two quarters. Tino Sunseri is 5 of 10 for 47 yards, and Dion Lewis has four carries for six yards.
Pitt has kept the game close by intercepting Miami quarterback Jacory Harris twice, by Jarred Holley and Dom DeCicco.
Miami needed fewer than three minutes to take a 7-0 lead, marching 80 yards on 10 plays, capped by Damien Berry’s one-yard touchdown with 11:35 to play in the first quarter.
Miami threatened on its next possession, but DeCicco intercepted a Harris pass in the end zone.
Miami drove to the Pitt 6 midway through the second quarter, but the Hurricanes’ committed a pair of penalties – ineligible receiver and delay of game – and had to settle for a 28-yard field goal by Matt Bosher for 10-0 lead with 8:28 to play in the first half.
Pitt’s best scoring chance came late in the first half when the Panthers put together three first downs and drove to the Miami 36, but the drive stalled and kicker Dan Hutchins missed a 52-yard field goal attempt wide left with 11 seconds to play in the first half.