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Wednesday June 26 2019
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Akron knocks off Pitt 21-10 in stunner at Heinz Field

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Akron's Conor Hundley rushed for 148 yards, Cody Grice scored two touchdowns and the Zips defense shut down the Pitt running game as Akron upset the Panthers 21-10 at Heinz Field.

The Akron defense held Pitt's rushing game to 129 yards and kept star running back James Conner under 100 yards for the first time in five games. Conner finished with 92 yards on 25 carries.

The Zips forced Pitt to rely on quarterback Chad Voytik and the redshirt sophomore strugged for the second consecutive game, both Pitt losses. Voytik completed 20 of 34 passes for 220 yards, but threw a crucial interception to curtail a promising Pitt drive in the fourth quarter.

Akron, a 20-point underdog, outgained Pitt 389-382.

"Give Akron credit, they did things in the course of the game to win and we didn't," said Pitt head coach Paul Chryst. "I don't think we ran the ball efficiently. We didn't get first downs to keep drives alive. I thought our defense started off doing some things to keep us in the game, but offensively we were stagnant." 

Pitt took a 7-0 lead on a pass from Voytik to Manasseh Garner late in the fist half, but AKron answered right away with a 52-yard scoring strike from Kyle Pohl to Mykel Traylor-Bennett to tie the game before the half. The Zips drive covered 75 yards and took just three plays.

Grice capped a nine-play, 75-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown early in the third quarter to put Akron ahead 14-7.

Pitt responded by driving to the Akron six-yard line, and Voytik found Tyler Boyd for what appeared to be the tyiing touchdown, but the play was called back for offensive holding. The Panthers were forced to settle for a Chris Blewitt field goal, pulling within 14-10.

A 10-play, 70-yard drive, again capped by a Grice touchdown, put the Zips ahead 21-10 early in the fourth quarter. Akron converted 5-of-7 third downs in the second half.

Pitt moved the ball 61 yards on their next possession, but Voytik was intercepted by Akron's DeAndre Scott at the Zips 10. The Panthers got the ball back again, but they were unable to get on the board.

The loss dropped Pitt to 3-2 after opening the season with three consecutive wins. Pitt is on the road at Virginia next Saturday.

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