Pitt Improves To 5-1 On The Road With 31-13 Win At Duke


Both Pitt and Duke came into yesterday’s game riding two-game losing streaks.

I attended my second road game of the season in support of Pitt, riding my one-game winning streak.

Pat Narduzzi and Pitt righted the ship, as the Panthers came out of a 10-10 halftime score and dominated the second half with three touchdowns on its first three drives, resulting in a 31-13 final.

Nate Peterman tied a career high with 3 touchdown passes, as Pitt (7-3, 5-1 ACC) recorded its most lopsided win of the season.  Duke (6-4, 3-3 ACC) came into the game having lost last week to North Carolina 66-31.

Peterman threw for 180 yards on 13 of 23, connecting with Zach Challingsworth for 11 yards, J.P. Holtz for 3 yards, and Dontez Ford for 5 yard touchdowns.  The Holtz TD made it 17-10, and Ford’s TD made it 24-10, and some Blue Devils fans began to leave the stadium.

Challingsworth recorded 3 catches for 57 yards, including the opening touchdown of the game, which was a pretty impressive catch on the sidelines.  Tyler Boyd finished with 3 catches for 38 yards and 8 carries for 79 yards.

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Redshirt freshman running back Qadree Ollison rushed for 111 yards and a late 1-yard touchdown to put the game away at 31-13.

After a 10-10 halftime score, Pitt held Duke to only 78 yards.  The Pitt coaching staff has continued to make halftime adjustments, as they tend to dominate the third quarter.  Duke’s only points came from a 51-yard field goal that hit the goal post, bounced straight up, and fell through.

None of Pitt’s TD drives after halftime was shorter than eight plays or 74 yards, which suggests that Pitt can methodically wear an opponent down.  Pitt is not built to come from behind, as Pitt fell into early deficits against North Carolina and Notre Dame.

Duke head coach David Cutcliffe summed it up: “We got outblocked, outtackled, outhit. Their playmakers made critical plays at critical times. We didn’t.”

For Duke, quarterback Parker Boehme was 23 of 42 for 248 yards and 1 interception to true freshman Jordan Whitehead.  He filled in for injured starter Thomas Sirk.  Boehme also had 80 yards rushing and a touchdown.

Duke wide receiver Anthony Nash finished with 101 yards on 5 receptions on Senior/ Military Appreciation Day in front of an attendance of 30,241.

Pitt simply dominated this game, controlling the time of possession (~40 minutes to 20 minutes), advantage in yards (448-361), advantage in first downs (26-18), and won the turnover battle (3 to 1).

I also credit the Duke fans, who congratulated us on the win, thanked us for coming, and hoped UNC will lose.


Pitt’s Coastal Division hopes remain alive, but are slim.  The Panthers needed North Carolina to lose 2 of its final 3, while Pitt wins out.  Unfortunately, the Miami Hurricanes did not help their cause, falling 59-21 to UNC.

UNC is now 9-1, 6-0 in the ACC and will travel to Virginia Tech and NC State to finish the season.  The Panthers need the Tar Heels to lose both games for a chance to get into the ACC Championship against No. 1 Clemson.

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Pitt’s three losses have come to teams ranked 17th or higher in the AP Top 25, so Narduzzi and company have not fallen victim to any upsets this season.  The Panthers have beaten the teams they are supposed to beat, and Pitt has the potential to finish the season 9-3, as they host Louisville and Miami.

Not bad for a team with a new head coach who had lost ACC Player of the Year James Conner in the first game of the season.

As Pitt continues to win, their chances of a better Bowl Game continue to improve.  Hail to Pitt!