PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Kevan Smith replaced Pat Bostick at quarterback for Pitt in the third quarter, and led the Panthers to a third-quarter field goal.
Conor Lee’s 21-yard field goal cut Rutgers’ lead to 17-13 after three quarters of their Big East Conference game before 43,531 at Rutgers Stadium.
Smith, a redshirt freshman, made his first appearance since the Connecticut game Sept. 22. Bostick was 3 of 10 for 35 yards passing in the first half, taking three sacks.
Smith was 5 of 6 for 64 yards in the third quarter, including a 27-yard pass to T.J. Porter, and had three carries for 7 yards despite taking a 10-yard sack.
Rutgers took a 17-10 halftime lead when Ray Rice broke a 28-yard touchdown run with 4:51 remaining in the second quarter.
Pitt missed on a scoring opportunity after Scott McKillop intercepted a pass at the Rutgers 31, as Conor Lee’s 31-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide left. It was one of three first-half turnovers by the Panthers.
The game was tied at 10-10 after the first quarter.
Rutgers scored on its first drive, as Mike Teel completed passes of 22 yards to Kenny Britt and 23 yards to tight end Kevin Brock. McKillop popped Tiquan Underwood on a third-down pass at the 13. The Scarlet Knights settled for a Jeremy Ito 30-yard field goal and 3-0 lead with 11:29 remaining in the first quarter.
Pitt got a break when Kennard Cox intercepted a pass that tipped off the hands of receiver Kenny Britt and returned it 25 yards to the Rutgers 23. The Panthers tied it at 3-3 on Conor Lee’s 33-yard field goal at 6:39.
The Panthers forced another turnover when middle linebacker Scott McKillop sacked Jabu Lovelance and recovered the fumble at the Rutgers 12. The Panthers were stopped in four tries at the 1-yard line, but scored on the fifth when Pat Bostick lofted a fade pass to tight end Darrell Strong for a touchdown and 10-3 lead.
Rutgers responded with a 53-yard touchdown pass from Teel to Britt to tie the game at 10-10 with 59 seconds remaining.