The Gold Team was the favorite in Saturday’s Blue-Gold Game and the chalk held, as the Tyler Boyd-coached Gold squad beat Jabaal Sheard’s Blue 23-14 at Heinz Field.
The Gold was led by junior receiver Quadree Henderson, who put up 137 yards of total offense - 84 rushing yards and a touchdown on two attempts and 53 receiving yards on five catches - plus some pretty clean play from the team’s quarterbacks.
For the Gold, Ben DiNucci completed all five of his passes for 60 yards and Kenny Pickett completed 6-of-13 for 36 yards while also finishing as the third-leading rusher in the game, tallying 35 yards on four runs.
Presumptive starting quarterback Max Browne got off to a slow start but finished strong, leading the Blue Team on a five-play, 75-yard drive late in the fourth quarter that included a pair of nice throws - one to Ruben Flowers for 32 yards and another to Tre Tipton for 27 yards. That Tipton pass saw the redshirt sophomore receiver lay out in the end zone for the highlight play of the day and the Blue Team’s second touchdown in the game.
Browne completed his best drive of the day on the next play with a floater to Rafael Araujo-Lopes for the two-point conversion.
The redshirt senior quarterback, who transferred to Pitt from USC this offseason, finished with 144 yards and a touchdown on 13-of-28 passing.
Sophomore Chawntez Moss was the leader among the running backs, rushing for 57 yards on eight carries; 44 of those yards came on one third-quarter drive, when he reeled off consecutive runs of 15, 23 and six yards. Those carries set up the Blue Team’s first touchdown, which came on a 12-yard scramble by redshirt freshman quarterback Thomas MacVittie.
MacVittie only attempted one pass - a four-yard completion to Moss - as he was sacked twice. In total, the Gold Defense recorded four sacks: two by Rori Blair and one each by Rashad Weaver and Saleem Brightwell. For the Blue Team, Jalen Williams and Allen Edwards each one sack.
On special teams, redshirt freshman kicker Alex Kessman had a strong day, converting three-of-four field goal attempts. Kessman was good from 32, 35 and 38 yards; his only miss came on a 60-yard attempt that had enough distance but was wide right.