Live: A home rout - Pitt falls to Oklahoma State 59-21

Chris Peak, Publisher
Panther-lair

TALK WITH OTHER PITT FANS DURING THE GAME

Pitt will face another big test this week with No. 8 Oklahoma State at Heinz Field. Keep up with the game as it happens here on Panther-Lair.com

PRE-GAME
- Pitt has a lot of recruits on the sidelines Saturday, including four-star Aliquippa safety Kwantel Raines, who spent some time talking with Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher and Athletic Director Heather Lyke.

- Blacksburg (Va.) running back Coleton Beck is also at the game.

- Pat Narduzzi said Monday that fullback George Aston could potentially play today, but Aston is not in uniform and is out for the game.

- Redshirt junior offensive lineman Brandon Hodges did not take snaps with the first or second-team lines in warm-ups. He suffered an ankle injury at Penn State.

- Sophomore Damar Hamlin made an appearance on the depth chart this week, and in the pre-game warm-ups, he took some snaps on the second team at boundary safety.

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FIRST QUARTER
- Pitt won the coin toss and opted to defer. The Panthers defense forced Oklahoma State into a third-and-6 on the Cowboys' first series, but OSU converted it with a 12-yard pass and took off after that. Mason Rudolph hit a 26-yard pass on the next play and then running back Justice Hill rattled off runs of 12, one and 20 yards - with the third going into the end zone.

OKLAHOMA STATE 7, PITT 0 - 13:00, 1st quarter

- Pitt's offense couldn't respond to Oklahoma State's touchdown, as the Panthers went three-and-out and had to punt.

- A great punt from Ryan Winslow pinned Oklahoma State at its own 4, and Rashad Weaver notched his first career sack on first down to push the Cowboys back to their 1. A short run picked up two yards on second down to set up third-and-11, but Pitt called a timeout before the ball was snapped.

After the timeout, Oklahoma State ran the ball with Hill, who found a crease on the left side and picked up 12 yards. Pitt forced another third down on the Cowboys with third-and-7 at the 18, but this time the Cowboys kept it going with a pass interference call on Dane Jackson.

Oklahoma State converted one more third down - a third-and-1 at the 42 - before the Cowboys took advantage of some Pitt defensive substitutions and hit a 54-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph to Dillon Stoner.

OKLAHOMA STATE 14, PITT 0 - 7:46, 1st quarter

- Pitt's offense looked like it might have a response on the next drive when Maurice Ffrench took an end-around 18 yards to midfield, but Max Browne and Jester Weah couldn't connect on a deep throw that was open and Browne was sacked on third-and-9, forcing another punt.

- Another Oklahoma State drive, more Oklahoma State third-down conversions. First the Cowboys converted a third-and-7 on a Rudolph pass to Stoner. Then, on third-and-11, Rudolph was almost sacked by Weaver and Amir Watts, but he escaped and connected with Marcell Ateman for a 69-yard score.

OKLAHOMA STATE 21, PITT 0 - 3:33, 1st quarter

- Pitt took the ball with time winding down in the first quarter and looked like it had hit its first big play when Chawntez Moss broke off a 33-yard run to move into Oklahoma State territory. But the run came back on a holding penalty on Mike Herndon, who was in at right guard, creating a second-and-26.

The Panthers picked up 12 yards on that play when Browne and Moss connected on a pass, and Browne dumped a pass to Matt Flanagan for nine more yards to set up fourth-and-5 at the Oklahoma State 46 as the quarter ended.

SECOND QUARTER
- Pitt's first fourth-down attempt of the game didn't work, as Browne threw incomplete for Aaron Mathews, giving the ball back to Oklahoma State.

- The Cowboys' next drive started on their own side of the 50, but it didn't take long to get past midfield, and the No. 8 team in the country reached the end zone in just six plays and 1:14.

OKLAHOMA STATE 28, PITT 0 - 13:41, 2nd quarter

- For everything Oklahoma State seems to do well, Pitt seems to have an opposite and equally-negative reaction. After the Cowboys' fourth touchdown, the Panthers fell into another three-and-out, aided by a false start penalty on Herndon, and punted for the fourth time in the game.

- It didn't take Oklahoma State long to pile on again, as the Cowboys found the end zone in just three plays, capped by a 40-yard pass from Rudolph to Jalen McCleskey.

OKLAHOMA STATE 35, PITT 0 - 11:22, 2nd quarter

- Pitt makes a change, and it looks like it worked. For the Panthers' five drive of the game, the coaches went with redshirt sophomore Ben DiNucci at quarterback, and on the first play, he threw a screen pass to Quadree Henderson, who took off for 74 yards to excite the dwindling Heinz Field crowd.

Three plays later, Moss ran in from five yards out to give Pitt its first points of the game.

OKLAHOMA STATE 35, PITT 7 - 9:25, 2nd quarter

- The momentum didn't carry over to Pitt's defense, though. The Panthers forced a third-and-1, but Rudolph hit his favorite target, James Washington, for 23 yards to convert. And on the next third down - a third-and-7 - Rudolph went to Washington again. That one gained 31 yards to move to the Pitt 16, and it only took two plays from there for Justice Hill to run into the end zone.

OKLAHOMA STATE 42, PITT 7 - 6:15, 2nd quarter

- DiNucci's second drive wasn't as inspiring as the first. After a four-yard scramble, DiNucci's second-down screen pass to Henderson was dropped. And on third down, DiNucci threw for Moss, but the pass was too high and fell incomplete.

- Pitt's ensuing punt gave Oklahoma State the ball, and the outcome was predictable: five plays, 79 yards, 1:49 and a 48-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph to McCleskey.

OKLAHOMA STATE 49, PITT 7 - 3:40, 2nd quarter

- Pitt found a little life on the final drive of the half, as DiNucci led the offense on a 13-play, 80-yard drive that saw the Panthers convert three third downs and ended in the end zone. The conversions included a three-yard run by Moss on third-and-1, a 28-yard pass from DiNucci to Rafael Araujo-Lopes on third-and-15 from the Pitt 29 and a 14-yard pass from DiNucci to Araujo-Lopes on third-and-10 from the Oklahoma State 14.

That last one scored the touchdown, and it saw Araujo-Lopes break a tackle or two as he snuck into the end zone for a score.

OKLAHOMA STATE 49, PITT 14 - 0:16, 2nd quarter

- Oklahoma State took a knee to end the half, and Pitt goes into the locker room trailing by 35 points.

- Here are the stats from the first half.

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THIRD QUARTER
- Pitt got the ball to open the third quarter and drove into Oklahoma State territory as DiNucci seemed to find some rhythm. But once Pitt got to the 25, things stalled. A pass to Mathews in the end zone on second down was incomplete, and DiNucci was sacked by an unblocked Cowboy to force a punt on fourth-and-24.

- Oklahoma State's first drive of the second half brought an interesting personnel move from Pitt, as sophomore Damar Hamlin made his season debut at field safety. But the Cowboys picked up where they left off in the first half, with a 39-yard pass on first down from their own 1 and then 11 and 24 yards on the next two passes.

On first down from the Pitt 25, Rudolph threw for the end zone, but Avonte Maddox made an athletic leap on the route to pick off the pass - the first time an Oklahoma State drive didn't end in a touchdown in the game.

- Pitt took possession at its own 2 and ran the ball on first down. But DiNucci dropped back and threw for Flanagan on second down; the ball was jarred loose with a big hit, and Oklahoma State linebacker Justin Phillips grabbed it out of the air and ran into the end zone.

OKLAHOMA STATE 56, PITT 14 - 9:54, 3rd quarter

- Pitt drove again on its next drive after the pick-six, converting a fourth-and-1 and getting to the Oklahoma State 26. But DiNucci ran for no gain on first down, one-hopped Jester Weah on second down and on third down, overthrew Weah. The pass was intercepted, and Oklahoma State took over at the 10.

- Oklahoma State made an interesting move on the post-pick possession, replacing Rudolph with redshirt junior Taylor Cornelius. The results were not good for the Cowboys, though, as they went three-and-out and punted for the first time in the game.

- Pitt couldn't do anything after the punt, though, gaining a net of minus-one yard on a pair of runs and a blown-up screen pass, leading to another Pitt punt.

- Oklahoma State's Rudolph-less offense stumbled again, but this time Pitt was able to capitalize. After the Cowboys went three-and-out, the long-snapper missed punter Zach Sinor. As the ball rolled into the end zone, Sinor tried to kick it away but missed, and Pitt freshman cornerback Jason Pinnock fell on the ball for a touchdown.

OKLAHOMA STATE 56, PITT 21 - 0:08, 3rd quarter

FOURTH QUARTER
- Oklahoma State's backup offense found points on the first drive of the fourth quarter. On the strength of a 39-yard pass from Cornelius to Tylan Wallace, the Cowboys got into the red zone, and from there, it was run-run-run before a third-down pass was incomplete, leading to Oklahoma State's first field goal of the game.

OKLAHOMA STATE 59, PITT 21 - 10:08, 4th quarter

- Pitt put together an extended drive after Oklahoma State's field goal, marching into the Cowboys' territory before the possession stalled on third-and-7. Alex Kessman came out to attempt a 49-yard field goal, but it was wide right, and Oklahoma State's lead stayed intact.

- The Cowboys ran out the clock after that, and Pitt's 59-21 blowout loss was secured.

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