Things got ugly at the end of a very competitive Quick Lane Bowl.
Pittsburgh, after trailing Eastern Michigan for most of the game, went ahead 34-30 on a diving touchdown catch by Taysir Mack with 47 seconds to play. That left some time on the clock for Eastern Michigan, but Eagles quarterback Mike Glass III lost his composure after a third-and-10 play from the EMU 40-yard line.
Glass III felt pressure and ducked out the way of a big hit, but the heat in his face caused a poor throw.
When Glass III rose to his feet, he must have heard some trash talk from Pitt linebacker Cam Bright. Glass III threw a quick punch right to Bright’s facemask. A few seconds later, defensive back Paris Ford got in Glass’ face to defend his teammate, prompting Glass to throw another punch.
This punch appeared to graze the face of one of the officials, who went down to the ground in a heap but otherwise appeared to be OK.
Glass was given two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, resulting in his ejection. Glass III is a senior, so his college career ended with those punches. Ford was also hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for getting tangled up with an EMU lineman, but was allowed to stay in the game.
With Glass’ ejection, backup Preston Hutchinson entered the game facing a fourth down with just 10 seconds to play. His only pass attempt of the game fell incomplete and Pitt held on to a 34-30 victory.
Eastern Michigan was in pursuit of its first bowl win since 1987, but came up just short and finished 6-7 on the year. Meanwhile, Pitt finished 8-5 and won a bowl game for the first time in four tries under Pat Narduzzi.
And because it was an awesome play, here’s a look at the Mack touchdown reception that won the game for the Panthers.
It was the third touchdown pass of the game from Pitt QB Kenny Pickett, who completed 27-of-39 passes for 361 yards in the win. While Mack caught the game-winner, Maurice Ffrench led the way with 12 catches for 165 yards and a score. The touchdown went for a school record 96 yards.
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