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Monday July 15 2019
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Pitt overcomes slow start, sloppiness to beat Florida Internation 42-25

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James Conner ran for 177 yards and 3 touchdowns, Chad Voytik added 126 rushing yards and Pitt overcame a mistake-filled first quarter to beat Florida International 42-25 on Saturday.

Conner’s output gave him 544 rushing yards on the year, breaking Tony Dorsett’s school record for most rushing yards in the first three games of a season.

Pitt got off to a rough start, giving up a safety when quarterback Chad Voytik was sacked in the end zone.

That play set the tone for an explosive first quarter for FIU, who added a three-yard touchdown run from quarterback Alex McGough and a 57-yard touchdown pass from McGough to receiver Glenn Coleman.

FIU would take a 16-0 lead into the second quarter.

McGough had a solid day, throwing for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Pitt’s Voytik threw for just 89 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. 

Pitt came back in the second quarter when Voytik used his legs to run for a 32-yard touchdown, and used his arm to get the ball to Tyler Boyd, who made a great catch in the end zone, pulling down a jump ball for an 18-yard touchdown.

Pitt moved closer but still trailed 16-14 at the half.

The Panthers’ defense got themselves a safety when FIU punter Chris Ayers fumbled a snap and kicked the ball through the back of the end zone to start the third quarter, tying the score at 16-14.

Conner added a 2-yard touchdown run and Pitt kicker Chris Blewitt netted a 34-yard field goal as Pitt took the lead 26-16 as the third quarter wound down.

The fourth quarter began with Florida International kicker Austin Taylor hitting a 42-yard field goal to pull the Golden Panthers within a score at 26-19.

Another FIU mistake led to the third safety of the game. Quarterback E.J. Hilliard earned himself an intentional grounding call in his own end zone, which resulted in two points for Pitt, stretching their lead to 28-19.

Pitt found the end zone on their ensuing possession as Conner broke off a 41-yard run up the middle for a touchdown, putting Pitt ahead 35-19.

FIU wasn’t going away, however, adding a 12-yard touchdown pass from McGough to tight end Jonnu Smith. An attempt at a two-point conversion failed, however, and Pitt’s lead was 35-25.

However, it wasn’t enough to top Pitt as Conner added another 11-yard touchdown run near the end of the game to bring the final score to 42-25 for Pitt.

The Panthers defense sacked McGough three times, forcing a fumble in the process.

Pitt ended the game with a total of 418 total yards, while FIU compiled 300. Pitt had another big game on the ground putting up 320 rushing yards most notably the 177 from Conner and 126 from Voytik. Pitt has posted more than 300 rushing yards in their first three games, giving them the overall rushing lead in the ACC. 

The win sends Pitt to 3-0 and 1-0 in the ACC. The Panthers will face a tough test next Saturday as they come home to Heinz Field for a meeting with the Iowa Hawkeyes at noon.

CLICK DESCRIPTION BELOW TO WATCH VIDEOS

Game Highlights
Pitt quarterback Chad Voytik takes off and shows his speed as he races for a 32-yard TD run.
Tyler Boyd goes up high and makes the adjustment for a TD catch.
Pitt RB James Conner takes the handoff and races 41 yard for paydirt.

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