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Final: Pitt 17, Syracuse 16

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Looking ahead to kickoff …

Game: Pitt (5-5, 2-4 ACC) vs. Syracuse (5-5, 3-3 ACC)

Time: 12:32 p.m.

Site: Carrier Dome, Syracuse, N.Y.

TV, radio: WTAE-TV (local), ACC Network (national), ESPN3 (Internet), 93.7 The Fan, Pitt IMG Sports Network

Here is the official live summary.

Here is our Pitt page. Jerry DiPaola is on the scene.

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.


  1. Exactly the type of game pitt usually loses.

    Yes. Just like the last game, too.

  2. Michael Haywood’s lawsuit against Pitt has nene settled. Terms not disclosed.

  3. I hope Pitt shows up today and gets the “W”. It is important that they get bowl eligible. A bowl would mean additional organized practiced time. It may help a bit with recruiting. More opportunity to have television exposure. And, of course, more money for the program and conference.

    Always liked to see Syracuse get beat, especially since half of ESPN reporters and staff, it seems, went there.

    Glad the game is on television on here.

    BTW, 23/8 here.

  4. Thanks Lucky. Let’s see if this works.

  5. If Pitt wins, the Panthers will have once again become just barely bowl eligible, which is, I suppose, better than nothing. Anyhow, Malkin finally scored one last night, and Sidney scored the winning goal and the Pens beat the Rangers. Cheers to that anyhow!

  6. Drew’s in good form this morning. Must be his warm weather.

  7. I’ve just heard that Todd Graham now says it was a mistake for him to have come to Pittsburgh, as if we needed to hear anything else from that SOB ever again.

  8. Sidney says that maybe the Pens shouldn’t have won last night but nonetheless, they won a much needed game, to say the least.

    • They won in spite of
      Poor discipline

      Entertaining no doubt but if they try that in April they’re in trouble.

  9. I think they need to throw more bubble screens. Good Lord.

  10. A freshman has to call timeout to keep them from an illegal formation penalty. Game 11 and they don’t know where to line up.

  11. wow … great “block nobody at the goal line” play to lose 10+ yards.

  12. 1st and goal at the 2, refuse to run the ball once, and end up with a 42 yard field goal attempt.

  13. First and goal on the Syracuse three after driving 70 yards, with some key in your face runs.


    Field goal

    No commentary necessary.

  14. When did Cardinal Wuerl buy North Catholic High School ?

  15. to say Pitt’s o-line is a disaster would be an insult to disasters.

  16. They decided not to practice offense this week. didn’t they ?

  17. But you’ve got to give this Syracuse defense credit. They only gave up 59 points last week.

  18. The bowls have voted & decided not to take the winner either.

  19. It’s sad to see the greatness of Aaron Donald overshadowed by the ineptitude of the rest of the team.

    Imagine what this defense is going to be like without Donald and Hendricks next year. Now that is truly depressing.

  20. Nice effort by Gordon on that tipped ball. not.

  21. Worst playcalling I have seem in a long time!
    Trying to give PC thebenefit of the doubt, but…….it is soooo hard to do so watching the play the last two weeks

  22. Their quarterback is getting killed. They’ve handed the ball to their running backs a total of 7 times. Any one see a correlation here ?

  23. Tough crowd today, Panthers playing with a ravaged o-line, Street only playing two plays before being lost for game. Defense battling after first Syracuse drive.

    Between all the coaching changes a very poor recruiting class in Graham’s one year, about 20 holdovers from the Wanstedt era and only one PC recruiting class that has seen quite a few major contributions from true freshman like Boyd, Connor, Orndoff, Blewitt, Ibrahim, Howard, Johnson I would say PC is doing all he can with a bare cupboard.

    Boyd and Connor both PC recruits putting SU on their heels as Panthers stringing another nice drive together, time to finish it off and put 7 on the board.

    • Einstein’s definition of insanity rules on this blog today.

      If you expect a different result after doing (seeing) the same thing over and over, well…………………………..

    • It is great to “see” you again #3. Hope all is well with you & yours.

      • Doing well thanks…hope your football season went well, I’m sure it is nice to get your Friday’s back.

        Now for the Buccos to give us some positive winter news. Always good to see you as well.

    • That was a nice drive. Connor and Boyd playing very well. Savage playing as good as can be expected, given that fact that he gets hit nearly every time he drops back to pass.

      They have some nice playmakers on offense. The problem is that they are mostly neutralized by an atrocious O-line. Until that is fixed, their offense will just be average.

  24. TD Pitt as Garner gives a great individual effort to reach across goal line and Panthers with 10 unanswered take their first lead of the game.

    Go Pitt!

  25. After getting a defensive stop and chance to run out halftime clock a turnover there is _____

    I don’t think I can find an acceptable word to use in a family blog. Need to hold this debacle to three.

  26. This team’s special teams are an abomination. Have been all year.

  27. Is there any reasonable explanation why Boyd isn’t returning punts?

    What a well-played half of football by both teams.

  28. Whew, really fortunate there….all considering, will take the one point lead into half. Going to have win it in final 30 minutes.

  29. This not having a special teams coach & having grad assistants handle it seems like a good idea to me.

  30. There are three essential elements to a football team: offense, defense and special teams. All are equally important to the success of a team.

    • Are you at all concerned about the Golden Gophers today ? It’s been so long I think they need a GPS to find the axe.

      • Ha! I think Paul Bunyan has forgotten how to get from Madison to the Minneapolis!

        I’m very concerned. Minnesota is a decent team. Kind of under the radar. I’ve seen the Badgers at Camp Randall the last two weekends against BYU and Indiana. Looked pretty solid both times. I think they should handle the Gophers OK but it’s really cold here in the Upper Midwest so turnovers will be a concern.

        Yesterday, at Camp Randall, my kids high school, Oshkosh North, played in the state championship. Two North players collided and two ambulances had to go onto the field. I think the kids will be OK. I thought about the announcers there, though. It was a pretty glum scene there for awhile and the announcers had to fill up a lot of air time.

  31. I want to preface this comment with the fact that I, too, do not understand the lack of a true ST coach, and that I, too, think the ST play has been very subpar.

    However, I do find it ironic that it is because of a ST play, the blocked XP that Pitt finds itself up 10-9.

    Time for the defense to set the tone to start the second half. Come on Panthers the Military Bowl awaits.

    • In fairness this is nothing new. Wannstedt didn’t have one either. And I’m sure Chryst would love to have one, if it was in the budget of course.

  32. Coach Chryst says they’re “right there” as far as running the football & he thinks they can dominate in that department in the 2nd half.

    He’s handed it to Conner & Bennett a total of 9 times.

  33. The drop off in production between Devin Street & whomever replaces him is stark.

  34. Hey JohninOshkosh,

    Tell me about Taylor Mehlhaff.

  35. Ugh.

    The Orange, with their bad ass helmets, hit pay dirt and lead Pitt 16-10

  36. What is Pitt lacking? About 10 Aaron Donald’s on defense and about 10 Tyler Boyd’s on offense.

  37. Aaron Donald. That’s all.

  38. I will say this, can not question Savage’s toughness.

    • +7.

      You beat me to it. And it’s not just today. Being at the home games, this guy seemingly gets hit on every pass play. He just picks himself up & trudges along. That is leadership.

  39. Really like that Pitt is getting the TE involved and allowing Holtz to make some plays.

  40. TD Panthers! Isaac Bennett gets the carry at the five and takes it in, huge drive by Pitt as they retake the lead 17-16.

  41. Touchdown Bennett! Nice drive. Finally made some adjustments against the blitz that were not bubble screens. Now wold like to see a turnover.


    For all those who wanted Voytik a few games ago…….. behind this offensive line, he would go from 5′ 10″ to 3′ 8″.


    Savage is just a tougher QB.

  43. Pitt has a ten minute advantage in time of possession, despite rushing for 100 yards less than Syracuse. Kind of odd.

  44. 14 minutes left. Who will be victorious?

  45. I’m sure Groat is happy. Duke is 9-2.

  46. As Milo said earlier….Aaron Donald. That’s all.

    Time for the offense to gain a few first downs and salt this one away.

  47. I’m going to miss watching Donald play. I’m not sure where his draft stock is right now, but I’m crossing my fingers that the Steelers can get him in the 2nd round.

  48. BIG stop on 3-11. A little more than 4 minutes to go. Time to drain that clock.

  49. Wow, and Pitt escapes! The Panthers earn bowl eligibility for the sixth straight year! What a huge timeout by PC to preserve the game.

    Close out the regular season with Miami at home next week. Go Panthers!

  50. A win is a win is a win!

    Pitt now becomes bowl eligible. Not necessarily going to a bowl, but bowl eligible. The ACC will have many teams going bowling this year.

    Beats the alternative. Hopefully Pitt will upset Miami, and get a better bowl slot.


  51. A Steelers-esque 25 carries for 25 yards for the Pitt rushing “attack”. But hey, a win is a win, right? Defense played pretty well. Offense made the necessary plays.

  52. I had the game on mute and couldn’t listen the commentary. Wouldn’t the fake FG have failed anyway due to the holder’s knee on the ground when he caught the ball?

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