Pitt Defeats Virginia 26-19 On Homecoming, Improves To 4-1


The victory lights for the Pitt Panthers can be seen in Oakland tonight.

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The Panthers took another leap forward, taking care of the Virginia Cavaliers 26-19 in front of a very large Homecoming crowd at Heinz Field this afternoon.

Pitt never trailed in this game and led by 13 points in the fourth quarter, before a scare near the end of the game.

Pat Narduzzi‘s Panthers improved to 4-1 on the season and 2-0 in ACC, tying them with Duke for the ACC Coastal lead.   This is Pitt’s first 4-1 start since 2009, and Pitt has become the 19th university to reach 700 wins.

Down the final stretch of the game, a Virginia drive made the crowd uneasy, sensing what we all have been accustomed to experiencing: a Pitt letdown.

But this afternoon, that was not the case.

Coming into the game ranked the No. 4 defense in the country, the Pitt defense forced Virginia quarterback Matt Johns into four straight incompletions to seal the win.  The Cavaliers have now lost 12 straight road contests.

Tight end Scott Orndoff, who recorded a 37 yard touchdown indicated, “Hopefully now we’ll get some respect around the country and people will start noticing this is a different team than we had in the past.”

It is certainly starting to look that way, as Narduzzi isn’t allowing the Pitt failures of the past affect his current team.

Earlier this season, Pitt got revenge of Akron and fell victim to a 57-yard game winning field goal to lose to No. 22 Iowa who is 6-0.  Today, Pitt got revenge against a team that they let failed to beat last season.

Pitt quarterback Nate Peterman passed for 222 yards on 17 of 24 completions for two touchdowns.  Chris James ran for 94 yards on 11 carries, while Qadree Ollison ran for 49 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown.

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  • Tight end Orndoff had two catches for 63 yards and a touchdown, while Dontez Ford had 63 yards on 3 receptions and Tyler Boyd finished with 54 yards on 7 receptions, including 1 touchdown.

    Pitt raced out to a quick 17-3 lead with the Peterman to Orndoff touchdown and a Chris James 48 yard run to set up an Ollison 4-yard touchdown.

    Virginia’s defense scored on a Peterman fumble that was returned 27 yards by defensive end Kwontie Moore to make it 17-10.  This was Virginia’s first forced turnover of the season.

    Pitt’s defense continues to show aggressiveness, as linebacker Matt Galambos returned an interception 51 yards, and a Peterman to Tyler Boyd 8-yard touchdown made it 24-10.  Galambos and true freshman Jordan Whitehead were all over the field for Pitt.  Whitehead recorded 12 more tackles today, and he is quickly making an impact in the ACC.  As a true freshman, he could end up with over 100 tackles this season.

    The Pitt defense added a safety, as linebacker Mike Caprara tackled Matt Johns in the endzone in the fourth quarter.  With 5:50 left in regulation, Johns, who passed for 209 yards on 17 of 33 passing, connected with Canaan Severin for a 32-yard score, and the extra point was blocked.

    Ollison fumbled at the Virginia 1 in the fourth quarter, which gave the Cavaliers some hope, but the Pitt defense stood firm and sealed the victory.  Virginia fell to 1-4 (0-1 ACC).

    When asked about Pitt’s failures in the past, Narduzzi exclaimed, “We talked about that, we’re not going back that way.  We’re not taking that route and the kids believe.”

    Excellent mindset for a team poised to turn its fortunes around.


    Pitt will travel to Georgia Tech next Saturday, and the Panthers will be looking for more revenge and to further separate from the rest of the ACC Coastal division.  The Yellow Jackets, who were ranked the beginning of the season, are in the midst of a 4-game losing streak and are 0-3 in the ACC.

    Narduzzi has Pitt believing in themselves, and there is the potential that Pitt could be 7-1 when they host Notre Dame at Heinz Field.

    Next: Pitt's Narduzzi Has 10 Verbal Commitments

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