Pitt kicker Conor Lee made a 25-yard field goal to cut Cincinnati’s lead to 17-13 after three quarters in a Big East Conference game at Heinz Field.
Pitt (2-4, 0-1) had the ball at Cincinnati’s 38-yard line when the third quarter ended. The Panthers used a 22-yard run by LeSean McCoy and a 34-yard catch by T.J. Porter to get inside Cincinnati’s 10, but a Chris Vangas holding penalty on second-and-goal at the 5.
McCoy has 105 yards rushing on 18 carries, his fourth 100-yard game this season, and the Panthers have rushed for 195 yards on 29 carries. LaRod Stephens-Howling has 58 yards on seven carries.
Cincinnati (6-1, 1-1) has 10 penalties for 83 yards to Pitt’s seven for 70 yards. The Bearcats missed an opportunity to extend their lead when Jake Rogers missed a 26-yard field goal as the first half expired with the Bearcats leading, 17-10.
Cincinnati could have built on that margin after a driving 68 yards on eight plays, but Rogers’ kick sailed wide right. Pitt 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.