ANNAPOLIS, Md. — LaRod Stephens-Howling scored two touchdowns and LeSean McCoy added another, as Pitt jumped out to a 21-7 lead over Navy in the first quarter this afternoon at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
It is the most points Pitt has scored in a first quarter since matching that total against Central Florida on Oct. 13, 2006. The Panthers outgained the Midshipmen, 171-67, and held a 5:12 advantage in time of possession, as McCoy had 50 yards on nine carries and Stephens-Howling 19 yards on three carries.
Stephens-Howling opened the scoring on a 6-yard run to give Pitt a 7-0 lead. The touchdown run capped an 11-play, 74-yard drive that saw the Panthers make three successful third-down conversions, a 6-yard pass to tight end John Pelusi, a 4-yard run by McCoy and a 34-yard screen pass to McCoy to the Navy 6.
It was only the third time an opponent scored on the opening drive against Navy this season. The other two, Ball State and Duke, handed the Midshipmen their only losses.
Navy answered with a Shun White 40-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 7-7 with 7:19 left. Despite missing starting quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (hamstring), the Midshipmen needed only six plays and 2:42 to drive 63 yards. Navy has scored on its first possession in every game this season, with four touchdowns and three field goals.
Bill Stull’s 43-yard pass to Jonathan Baldwin to the Navy 9 set up McCoy’s 2-yard touchdown run for a 14-7 lead with 4:34 left. Pitt defensive end Jabaal Sheard then forced a fumble by sacking Navy quarterback Jarod Bryant and defensive tackle Gus Mustakas — starting in place of Mick Williams (concussion) – at the Navy 17. Stephens-Howling scored three plays later, on a 9-yard run.
Pitt had the ball at its own 30 when the first quarter ended.