Pitt dodged a bullet when Cincinnati kicker Jake Rogers missed a 26-yard field goal as the first half expired with the Bearcats leading, 17-10, in a Big East Conference game at Heinz Field.
Cincinnati (6-1, 1-1) could have built on that margin after a driving 68 yards on eight plays, but Rogers’ kick sailed wide right.
Pitt (2-4, 0-1) used a six-play, 67-yard scoring drive to tie the game on a 4-yard pass from Pat Bostick to tight end Darrell Strong with 7:46 remaining in the half.
But the Bearcats answered with a 10-play, 79-yard drive highlighted by a 19-yard pass from Ben Mauk to Marcus Barnett to set up Doug Jones’ 3-yard run for a 17-10 lead with 3:18 left.
In the first quarter, the Bearcats got started with a big play by Mauk, whose 55-yard run sparked a seven-play, 82-yard scoring drive capped by his 1-yard dive for a 7-0 lead with 9:27 left in the first quarter.
Pitt went for it on fourth-and-inches at its own 27, but Bostick was stopped short. Pitt cornerback Kennard Cox was called for pass interference, giving the Bearcats the ball at the 13, but the Panthers held them to a 37-yard Jake Rogers field goal to make it 10-0.
Pitt responded with a nine-play, 60-yard drive highlighted by LaRod Stephens-Howling’s 14-yar run and Bostick’s 18-yard pass to Oderick Turner. The Panthers cut it to 10-3 on Conor Lee’s 41-yard field goal.