Pitt took its first lead since the second game of the season, but Navy used a methodical scoring drive to take a 35-31 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Midshipmen drove 75 yards in 10 plays, capped by quarterback Kaipo-Noa Keahaku-Enhada’s 3-yard scoring run with 19 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Panthers had taken a 28-21 lead – their first since the Grambling State game on Sept. 8 – with a 54-yard scoring drive that almost ended on a turnover.
McCoy ran 21 yards on an inside handoff, but fumbled at the Navy 2. The on-field ruling was that the ball hit the pylon – an automatic touchback – but a review showed that it hit the leg of Navy cornerback Blake Carter before bouncing out of bounds.
Two plays later, McCoy scored on a 2-yard run.
Navy, however, returned the ensuing kickoff to Pitt’s 33. The Midshipmen tied the game at 28-28 after Shun White’s 1-yard run with 6:54 left in the third quarter.
Lowell Robinson’s 45-yard kickoff return gave Pitt the ball at Navy’s 45, but the Panthers settled for a 23-yard Conor Lee field goal and a 31-28 lead with 4:57 left.