Pitt Defense Excels in 20-10 Win at Georgia Tech

[ATLANTA,Ga]-Kenny Pickett threw for 204 yards with a touchdown, Vincent Davis had a 61-yard touchdown run and Pitt overcame three first-half turnovers to beat Georgia Tech 20-10 on Saturday.

The Panthers (6-3, 3-2 ACC) held the Yellow Jackets (2-6, 1-4) to 194 yards.

The Pitt defense stopped Tech inches short of a potential tying touchdown late in the third quarter. Quarterback Lucas Johnson fumbled at the goal line when hit by Kylan Johnson. Cam Bright returned the fumble recovery 79 yards.

 

The return set up Alex Kessman’s 49-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 20-10 lead.

Davis took a wildcat snap, ran through the middle of the line and made one cut to his left before finding open field for a 61-yard touchdown run to give Pitt a 10-0 lead in the first quarter.

Pickett’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Shocky Jacques-Louis in the second quarter stretched the halftime lead to 17-7.

The Panthers committed three first-half turnovers. Pickett threw two interceptions in the half, including one off the hands of tight end Nakia Griffin-Stewart that was caught by Yellow Jackets safety Tariq Carpenter.

In the first quarter, safety Juanyeh Thomas cut in front of Maurice Ffrench for Georgia Tech’s first interception.

Georgia Tech couldn’t convert either interception into points but quickly capitalized when Ffrench’s fumble, forced by linebacker David Curry, was recovered by Jordan Domineck. On the next play, James Graham threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Ahmarean Brown.

After Graham completed only 2 of 9 passes for 54 yards in the first half, coach Geoff Collins started Johnson at quarterback in the second half. Johnson was escorted to the locker room following the big hit on his fumble at the goal line.

Graham played the remainder of the game.

Georgia Tech’s Jerry Howard blocked Kirk Christodoulou’s punt on Pitt’s first possession of the second half. The Yellow Jackets recovered at the Pitt 12, setting up a 30-yard field goal by Brenton King that cut the Panthers’ lead to seven points.

Ffrench had a career-high 11 catches for 71 yards.

 

THE TAKEAWAY
Pitt: The Panthers rebounded from last week’s loss to Miami and remain in position to contend for a second straight Coastal Division title and trip to the ACC Championship Game. There were blemishes in the win as Pitt struggled with mistakes. In addition to the turnovers, Pitt struggled on special teams. The Panthers had a punt blocked and Ffrench made a questionable decision to field a kickoff near the sideline at the 7.

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets showed why they rank last in the ACC in scoring. The two quarterbacks combined to complete only 8 of 21 passes for 108 yards. Graham, a redshirt freshman, made an ill-advised deep pass in the fourth quarter that was intercepted by Paris Ford. After running for 141 yards in a win at Miami two weeks ago, Jordan Mason had 15 carries for 56 yards.

UP NEXT
Pitt: The Panthers are off next weekend before playing North Carolina in a Thursday night game on Nov. 14. North Carolina has six straight wins in the series, including a 38-35 win in 2018.

Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets play at Virginia next Saturday. Georgia Tech beat the Cavaliers 30-27 in overtime last season and has won seven of the last 10 to lead the series 21-19- 1.

Please e-mail Ray @urbanmediatoday.com Follow me @urbanmediaRay on twitter

www.PittsburghPanthers.com

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