Pitt Holds Off Virginia Tech for Road Win

 

 

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP & pittsburghpanthers.com) - Qadree Ollison ran for 122 yards and a second-half touchdown and Pittsburgh limited Virginia Tech to just 100 yards of offense Saturday in a 17-13 victory that opened both teams' Atlantic Coast Conference seasons.

The Panthers (3-1) won for the sixth time in the last seven meetings against their old Big East rivals, largely on the backs of the defense that sacked Brenden Motley seven times and intercepted three passes.

Virginia Tech (2-3) finished with 9 rushing yards on 33 carries, and lost 57 yards because of the sacks.

Ollison provided a huge offensive boost for the Panthers to start the second half. After Tyler Boyd returned the kickoff to the 32, Ollison ran 43 yards around the left side on the first play from scrimmage. He took it the final 25 yards through the left side on the next play, extending the Panthers' lead to 17-7 after just 45 seconds.

The Hokies had several scoring opportunities thereafter, but were limited to two field goals.

Trailing 17-7, the Hokies made a break for themselves when Andrew Motuapuaka forced his second fumble of the game and Terrell Edmunds recovered and returned it to the Panthers' 23. But Motley was sacked for the fourth time for a 7-yard loss on the next play, and three plays later, Joey Slye's 43-yard field goal pulled Virginia Tech to within 17-10.

Pitt's defense again overcame adversity after an 11-yard completion was changed to a 12-yarder after a review, giving the Hokies a first down at the Panthers' 44. A personal foul moved the ball to the 29, but the Hokies stalled there and had to settle for a 48-yard field goal from Slye, making it 17-13 with 13:25 remaining.

Motley finished 9 of 20 for 91 yards. He ran 17 times for minus 14 yards.

The Hokies had two long conversions on their lone scoring drive before halftime. Motley first scrambled for 22 yards on a second-and-19, then found Bucky Hodges for 28 yards on third-and-17 from the Panthers' 40. Two plays later, he hit Cam Phillips with an 11-yard dart to pull Virginia Tech to within 10-7.

The Panthers went ahead 10-0 on their second possession, thanks in part to a 15-yard roughing-the-passer penalty. Peterman surprised the defense by running for 12 yards on a draw play on third-and-4 from the Virginia Tech 35, and then found tight end J.P. Holtz all alone in a blown coverage for the touchdown.

Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi anointed Peterman as his quarterback this week, but on the second play sent Chad Voytik in. Voytik last year ran for 118 yards in a 21-16 Panthers victory against the Hokies, and he took his first carry for 26 yards to midfield. The drive stalled at the 30, and Chris Blewitt kicked a 45-yard field goal.