Pitt rallies to drub Florida State, 41-17
Kenny Pickett returned to the lineup and scored one of Pittsburgh’s three touchdowns by quarterbacks in the Panthers’ 41-17 win over host Florida State in Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday.
Pickett — a senior who injured his ankle Oct. 10 in an overtime loss at Boston College — was back after a two-game absence and went 21-for-27 for 210 yards as Pitt snapped its four-game losing streak.
Reserve signal-caller Nick Patti scored on a pair of short runs, and Vincent Davis rushed for a TD for the Panthers (4-4, 3-4 ACC), who faced FSU for the first time in seven years and first in Tallahassee since 1982. Jordan Addison tallied 11 receptions for 127 yards.
Pitt’s defense notched seven sacks and three interceptions — giving the unit 11 on the season — of the Seminoles (2-5, 1-5). Pitt started the day tied for fourth in the country in INTs.
FSU’s Jordan Travis went 11-for-18 for 106 yards — plus a game-high 83 rushing yards with a TD — but was replaced by James Blackman to start the second half due to an injury.
Pitt’s Alex Kessman kicked a 51-yard field goal on the opening series — the 10th 50-plus boot of his career — but tight end Wyatt Rector shifted and plunged ahead on a sneak to give FSU a 7-3 lead at 9:28.
Travis kept the ball on a zone read at his own 12, dodged safety Brandon Hill — the replacement for Paris Ford, who opted out earlier in the week to prepare for the NFL — and cruised 88 yards for a 14-3 lead.
An interception by defensive back A.J. Woods late in the first quarter led to a short four-play drive that ended with Patti replacing Pickett and scoring on the first of his two short runs.
After a fourth-down stop at midfield, Pickett broke the pocket and jaunted 10 yards for a score, but Parker Grothaus’ field goal from 47 yards trimmed the home side’s halftime deficit to 24-17.
Davis produced an 8-yard TD run early in the second half after Blackman’s pass was intercepted by Damar Hamlin, and freshman Chubba Purdy (12-for-21, 38 yards, interception) immediately replaced Blackman.
Kessman’s 19-yard kick and Hill’s 50-yard pick-6 completed the scoring for Pitt, who outscored FSU 38-3 in just over the final three quarters of play.
–Field Level Media