Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse: Live Scores, Analysis and Results
Syracuse 14, Pittsburgh 13, End of Game
The Syracuse Orangemen scored 14 points in the first quarter and managed to hold off a furious rally from the Pittsburgh Panthers in order to improve to 2-3 and start Big East Conference play 1-0.
Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri completed 25-of-33 pass attempts for 319 yards, but the Panthers only managed to rush for 27 yards on 37 carries, which ultimately made the difference in the game.
Syracuse defeated Pittsburgh for the first time since 2004 and has established itself as a dark horse contender to win the Big East this season.
Click here to find out what else we learned from Syracuse's nail-biting victory over Pittsburgh.
Things do not get any easier for Pittsburgh next weekend as it will take on the No. 19 Louisville Cardinals at Heinz Field.
The Panthers will have to find a way to establish a legitimate rushing attack against the Cardinals if they hope to pull the upset. Pitt only rushed for 27 yards against Syracuse tonight.
The Orangemen bounced back from a 1-3 performance in non-conference play with a great defensive game tonight against Pittsburgh to get to 1-0 in the Big East Conference.
Syracuse will travel next weekend to face the No. 22 Rutgers Scarlet Knights as they look to keep pace with the top teams in the Big East.
Pittsburgh has been one of the toughest teams to figure out this season.
The Panthers were beaten badly by the Youngstown State Penguins and Cincinnati Bearcats in their opening two games, but came back and beat a nationally ranked Virginia Tech squad by 18 points and followed that up with a rout of Gardner-Webb.
The loss tonight drops Pittsburgh to 2-3 on the season and gave Panther fans more questions to answer about their team.
A low scoring affair seemed to favor Pittsburgh, but Syracuse simply made more plays than the Panthers.
Syracuse really struggled offensively after the first quarter and Ryan Nassib was held under 200 yards passing, which should have been good enough for the Pittsburgh Panthers to win.
The Orangemen turned in their best defensive performance of the season though and that made all the difference at the end of the game.
Pittsburgh had the ball four time in the second half with a chance to take the lead, but they were turned away by the Syracuse defense. The Panthers only mustered a field goal in the second half.
Syracuse picks up the first down and the Orangemen find a way to win despite not scoring a point in the final three quarters of play.
Syracuse offensive lineman Rob Trudo gave the Orangemen an extra four or five yards on the ground by pushing the pile of players forward.
Notre Dame fans are yelling for a penalty and reminiscing about Reggie Bush.
Syracuse is one first down away from beating Pittsburgh for the first time in their last seven meetings.
Syracuse picks up a third down with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Pitt takes their second timeout and only have one left. Syracuse only needs one more first down to put this game away.
Nassib scrambles for a first down and now Pittsburgh has to begin thinking about using their timeouts to stop the clock. Coming up on two minutes to go.
ESPN just announced Shamarko Thomas is in the locker room and will not return due to the helmet to helmet hit earlier in the fourth quarter.
For the second straight drive, Syracuse bends but does not break with Pittsburgh driving across midfield.
A sack pushed Pittsburgh back near midfield and the Orangemen defense forces a punt.
It'll be interesting to see if Shamarko Thomas is allowed to re-enter the game anytime soon after a big helmet to helmet hit.
Thomas is Syracuse's leading tackler tonight and a major part of their defense.
Pitt is winning the time of possession battle by more than 11 minutes despite their offensive struggles in the first half. The Panthers could run a lot of time off the clock here if it keeps the ground game going.
If SU loses, and Pitt has huge time of possession edge, this one will be on the SU offense, which has really struggled this half. 14-13 SU— Syracuse Football (@PSFootball) October 6, 2012
Pittsburgh will have the ball with a chance to take the lead yet again. Only came up with a field goal on their last possession.
Syracuse's offense has not scored since its first possession. The last time Syracuse found the end zone was with 1:06 remaining in the first quarter.
The fans at the Carrier Dome have been louder than ever in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh winds up jumping the gun twice for a couple of false start penalties and Syracuse's defense comes up with a big sack on third down to get the ball back to their offense.
Pittsburgh may have worn down Syracuse's defensive line. Ray Graham has had plenty of running room the last couple of plays and Pittsburgh's offensive line is controlling the line of scrimmage right now.
Syracuse has done a good job of avoiding penalties tonight, but took a bad one there. Illegal hands to the face allows Pitt to move into Syracuse territory.
The Pittsburgh defense has held Ryan Nassib to just 159 yards through the air and have picked him off once.
Good sign for the Panthers as they enter the fourth quarter. Syracuse's offense needs Nassib to play well in order to move the football effectively.
Despite their lack of success on the ground, Pittsburgh continues to run the ball on first and second down.
End of the 3rd Quarter
Pittsburgh catches a break as Marcus Sales drops a pass that hit him right in his gut. Would have given Syracuse a first down after being in third down and long.
Mark May believes the Pitt Panthers can win this one tonight despite their slow start.
Some times my Pitt Panthers are slow starters but fast finishers— Mark May (@mark_may) October 6, 2012
Syracuse 14, Pittsburgh 13, 1:57 remaining in the 3rd Quarter
Pittsburgh Field Goal is GOOD!
Kevin Harper knocks through a 27-yard field goal for the Panthers.
Sunseri gets pressured on third down, but hits Mike Shannahan, who had to stop at the 30-yard line to catch the under-thrown pass, deep in Syracuse territory to get the Orangemen into the red zone.
Pittsburgh's offense continues to rely on Tino Sunseri to keep the chains moving and he has not let them down so far.
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