Pittsburgh Beats Boston College 30-20, Panthers Now 2-0

Friday night’s game didn’t start off particularly well for the University of Pittsburgh. The Panthers looked hapless through most of the first quarter after kicker Chris Blewitt, who has the most unfortunate last name possible for a player at his position, nailed a 44-yard field goal just three minutes in.

Boston College took the lead less than two minutes later on a one-yard touchdown run by running back Tyler Rouse. Unfortunately for the home crowd, the Golden Eagles were unable to build on their momentum and when Pitt took the lead in the second quarter, they never let go.

Panthers quarterback Chad Voytik, a sophomore and first-year starter, connected with wide receiver Tyler Boyd, also a sophomore, on a five-yard touchdown pass at 13:08 of the second. Seven minutes later Pitt added a field goal, but it was Voytik and Boyd’s encore performance 18 seconds before the half that ultimately put the game out of reach for Boston College.

And the drive was a thing of beauty. The Panthers began on the BC 39 and marched 80 yards in 57 seconds for a touchdown that put them ahead 20-7 going into the locker room at halftime. The drive was highlighted by a SportsCenter-worthy 22-yard Voytik completion to Manasseh Garner and punctuated with a five-yard touchdown pass to Boyd.

When Pitt running back James Conner put them ahead 27-7 on a nine-yard touchdown run at 7:43 of the third, the faces on fans in the stands looked resigned to a blowout. But on the next drive BC’s senior quarterback Tyler Murphy finally got the Golden Eagles’ offense flying, stealing the momentum with a touchdown drive that moved 75 yards in 1:47, putting them within two scores.

Boston College looked reinvigorated, shutting down Pitt’s offense after three plays and just six yards after the kickoff. BC was unable to move the ball after the forced punt, which is where the game effectively ended for the Golden Eagles. The Panthers went ahead 30-14 at 9:53 of the fourth quarter and it was too little, too late when BC added a touchdown with 43 seconds remaining.

It was a big ACC win for Pitt, who is now 2-0 after blowing out Delaware last week. The good news doesn’t end there for the Panthers. Voytik looked good behind center, Tyler looked great in every phase of the game, and Conner was phenomenal with 214 yards rushing on 36 carries—the sophomore running back looks poised to build on the success he enjoyed in 2013.

Up next for Pitt is Florida International in Miami next week. BC will have a much tougher road to against No. 14 USC next week, but at least the game is at home.

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