Pitt used a defensive stand to keep Grambling State from scoring on a fourth-and-goal, then used a deep pass play to set up a 27-yard Conor Lee field goal for a 34-10 lead after three quarters at Heinz Field.
Grambling was in scoring position after DeMichael Dizer intercepted a Kevan Smith pass at the Pitt 46, but the Tigers couldn’t convert on three chances from the 4-yard line when Pitt middle linebacker Scott McKillop broke up a fourth-down pass in the end zone.
The Panthers later used a 61-yard pass from Smith to Oderick Turner on a post pattern and a 14-yard run by LeSean McCoy before settling for a field goal with 34 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Smith has completed 15 of 22 passes for 202 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. McCoy leads all rushers with 91 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries. The Panthers have outgained the Tigers, 283-171.