No. 25 Pittsburgh stifles Syracuse, 21-10
Kenny Pickett passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead No. 25 Pittsburgh to a 21-10 victory over visiting Syracuse in ACC play on Saturday.
Jordan Addison and Jared Wayne caught scoring passes from Pickett, who completed 25 of 36 passes for 215 yards. Pickett raised his career yardage total to 6,068 yards to become the seventh quarterback in school history to top 6,000 career passing yards.
Rashad Weaver recorded two of Pitt’s seven sacks, and Paris Ford nabbed an interception for the Panthers (2-0, 1-0 ACC). Pittsburgh has won 16 of the past 19 meetings with the Orange.
Syracuse backup Rex Culpepper threw a 69-yard scoring pass to Taj Harris after briefly replacing starter Tommy DeVito, who left early in the second quarter with an undisclosed injury after being sacked. DeVito returned at the outset of the third quarter and finished with just 32 yards on 9-of-15 passing with one interception before departing for good with approximately nine minutes remaining.
Culpepper was 4-of-9 passing for 88 yards for the Orange (0-2, 0-2), who were outgained 342-171 and had just 10 first downs to Pitt’s 23.
Mikel Jones recorded an interception for Syracuse.
The Panthers led by four at halftime and expanded the lead when Pickett tossed a 17-yard scoring pass to Wayne to make it 21-10 with 54 seconds left in the third quarter.
Syracuse was unable to mount a comeback challenge in the second half as it totaled just 52 yards.
Pittsburgh had a 16-5 edge in first downs in the first half but led just 14-10 at the break.
A Panthers’ turnover led to Syracuse’s Andre Szmyt kicking a 26-yard field goal with 6:08 left in the first quarter. Less than two minutes later, Pitt answered as Pickett teamed up with Addison on a 27-yard scoring pass for a 7-3 lead.
DeVito departed early in the second quarter after Phil Campbell III and Calijah Kancey combined for a sack. Two plays later, Culpepper tossed the long touchdown throw to Harris to give the Orange a 10-7 advantage with 10:33 left in the half.
The Panthers regained the lead at 14-10 on Pickett’s 1-yard quarterback sneak with 5:06 left.
–Field Level Media