Penn State’s defense makes up for lack of offense vs. Pitt
UNIVERSITY PARK — There wasn’t much offense in Penn State’s 17-10 victory over Pitt, and coach James Franklin noticed.
“We had guys behind them, but a couple of plays we overthrew,” he said. “A couple of them we left inside, especially the vertical balls.
“We want our receivers to leave room on the sideline for the quarterback and be able to adjust to the ball, and we didn’t do that.”
But a stout defense allowed Penn State to win the game with two big plays that preceded scores: Jouney Brown’s 85-yard run and Ricky Slade’s 40-yard catch. K.J. Hamler’s 53-yard catch-and-run was entertaining but didn’t lead to a score. Brown’s play was the second-longest, nonscoring run in Penn State history. Only Blair Thomas’ 92-yarder against Syracuse in 1986 beats it.
Penn State’s 17 points marked its fewest in a victory since beating Indiana, 13-7, in 2014.
Penn State kicker Jordan Stout set a Penn State record with a 57-yard field goal on the last play of the first half.
“Who kicks a 57-yard field goal?” Narduzzi said.
The previous record was 55 yards by Chris Bahr, who did it three times in 1975.
Pitt committed only two penalties, but one of them led to a Penn State touchdown.
Linebacker Cam Bright was called for pass interference in the first quarter. The problem was strong safety Paris Ford (Steel Valley) intercepted the pass on the 3 and returned it to the Penn State 45-yard line.
Ford had a game-high 11 tackles.
Penn State has won 16 consecutive nonconference, regular-season home games. … Pitt ran for only 24 yards, tied for the third-fewest allowed by Penn State under Franklin. … Tight end Nick Bowers (Kittanning) made his first career start.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .