Conor Lee kicked a 36-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to give No. 25 Pitt a 17-14 halftime lead over Bowling Green this afternoon in the season opener at Heinz Field.
Bowling Green had erased a 14-point deficit by scoring two second-quarter touchdowns, both on passes to fullback Jimmy Scheidler, to tie the game with 1:31 remaining in the half.
But the Falcons’ ensuing kickoff was short, and the Panthers started at the Bowling Green 45. A 16-yard pass from Bill Stull to Cedric McGee and a 9-yarder to LeSean McCoy gave Pitt the ball at the 20, but Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt allowed the clock to run down until three seconds remained before calling a timeout to set up Lee’s kick.
Pitt had increased its lead to 14-0 at 11:02 of the second quarter on an 11-play, 41-yard drive highlighted by McCoy’s 4-yard run on fourth-and-3 at the 34 and capped by Stull’s scoring pass to Derek Kinder.
Bowling Green answered with an eight-play, 73-yard scoring drive that included a 36-yard run by Chris Bullock and was capped by Freddie Barnes’ 5-yard play-action pass to fullback Jimmy Scheider.
McCoy then fumbled at the Bowling Green 48, and the Falcons went 52 yards in seven plays, with Sheehan finding Scheidler for a 3-yard touchdown on a play-action pass.
After holding Bowling Green to 16 yards in the first quarter, Pitt allowed the Falcons to compile 127 yards in the second quarter. Sheehan has completed 10 of 18 passes for 77 yards, while Bullock has rushed for 40 yards on four carries and has two receptions for 25 yards.
Stull is 14 of 22 for 114 yards, with Kinder leading all receivers with five catches for 41 yards. LaRod Stephens-Howling leads all rushers with six carries for 68 yards (11.3 per), while McCoy has only 48 yards on 16 carries (2.5).
Pitt has outgained Bowling Green, 229-143.