Pitt football notebook: Connecticut offense finds little resistance in first half
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — The talk coming into Pitt's Big East game Friday night at Connecticut centered around the Huskies' pathetic offense.
The Panthers helped the Huskies get well — in a hurry.
Connecticut came into its 24-17 win against Pitt on a four-game losing streak with only three touchdowns in that span. Its average of 16.6 points per game was last in the Big East and 117th among 120 FBS schools.
No matter: UConn surpassed that total before halftime and led, 24-0, at the break.
First, quarterback Chandler Whitmer hit Ryan Griffin with a 2-yard touchdown pass. Then, Chad Christen kicked a 29-yard field goal, proving it is possible to convert a field goal from the right hash mark. In the second quarter, Nick Williams returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown, and running back Lyle McCombs scored from the 2.
Also in the second quarter, Pitt kicker Kevin Harper hit the upright on a 44-yard field-goal attempt from the right hash. He missed a potential game-winning 33-yarder from that spot in the second overtime last week against Notre Dame.
• What made Connecticut's opening 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive even more embarrassing was this: Eight plays gained at least 5 yards. Players were out of position and outside linebacker Eric Williams, who had played so well against Notre Dame, missed a tackle at the line of scrimmage on McCombs' 12-yard run to the 2.
• Tight end Hubie Graham, who has been nagged by shoulder and ankle injuries, was hurt on the Panthers' first play from scrimmage.
• Long-snapper Kevin Barthelemy, who had an injured hand, played for the first time in six games and made a tackle on Pitt's first punt.
• Quarterback Tino Sunseri entered the game with a streak of 172 passes without an interception. In the first quarter, he threw a pass in the belly of linebacker Sio Moore, who dropped the ball.
• Pitt has advanced to a bowl game in nine of the past 12 years. The Big East has six postseason slots available, including the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., which Pitt attended after each of the past two seasons. The Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium matches Big East and Big 12 also-rans, setting up a potential game between former conference rivals Pitt and West Virginia.
— Jerry DiPaola
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt softball falls to Michigan in NCAA regional final
- Pitt athletic director Barnes fully supportive of Power 5 autonomy
- ACC’s Swofford talks cost of attendance, football playoff
- Pitt softball drops 1st game in NCAA tournament
- Modic’s grand slam, pitching of Harris lift Pitt softball into regional final
- McConnell-Serio optimistic about Pitt women’s basketball future