NCAA: Pittsburgh Panthers down injury-plagued Tennessee Volunteers
- Pittsburgh Panthers defeated Tennessee Volunteers 41-34
- Kenny Pickett threw for 285 yards
- Tennessee had four key players unavailable for Saturday's game
With two back-to-back wins, Pittsburgh have started the NCAA season undefeated after defeating Tennessee Volunteers 41-34 on Saturday, thanks to two passing touchdowns and 285 yards throw from Panthers quarterback Kenny Pickett.
Ahead of the game, a Tennessee official that four key players would be unavailable for Saturday's game. The Volunteers were left without junior running back Tiyon Evans, sophomore centre Cooper Mays, junior defensive end Byron Young and senior defensive lineman LaTrell Bumphus against the Panthers.
Early in the first quarter, to begin their opening drive, freshman safety Christian Charles blocked a punt, giving the Vols the ball at the Pitt 2-yard line. On the following snap, sophomore running back Jabari Small raced into the end zone to open the scoring.
Ahead of the second quarter, with a 37-yard Chase McGrath field goal, Tennessee were already 10-0 up in the game.
On a third-and-10 play, the Panthers marched deep into Tennessee territory and scored on the opening play of the second quarter, courtesy to a beautiful 11-yard dart from Kenny Pickett to wideout Melquise Stovall. For the touchdown, Pickett delivered a great pass through traffic on the run. The point after touchdown was made by Sam Scarton.
In a rollercoaster of a game, Tennessee made a field goal followed by another touchdown from the Panthers. The scores were 14-13 for the Pitts.
Nearing the end of the second quarter, on the Panthers' opening drive of the first half, Pickett drove them down the field, and running back Vincent Davis raced over the Vols' defence for a 2-yard touchdown on third-and-1.
Starting the third, the Pitts were 7 points ahead and capitalised with another TD from Jacob Warren to go 34-27.
In the fourth quarter, Tennessee squandered two scoring opportunities. The second was this one. On a second-and-10 play with the ball at the Pitt 34, Hooker telegraphed a pass to Calloway that was intercepted by safety Brandon Hill and returned near midfield. After that, the Panthers picked up a pair of first downs to seal the win.
Meanwhile, Wright had an opportunity to tie the game midway through the fourth quarter. On fourth-and-1 from the Pitt 3, John Petrishen shot the gap and hit Wright for a loss, giving Pitt the ball. Three plays and a bad punt later, the Vols had the ball back 34 yards away from tying the game.
Pitt's Brandon Hill ended that threat with an interception.