Virginia Rolls Past Pittsburgh 44-14
Sept. 29, 2007
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- Jameel Sewell threw three first-quarter touchdown passes and Cedric Peerman ran for two scores as Virginia extended its winning streak to four games with a 44-14 victory over Pitt on Saturday night.
Sewell was 7-of-7 as Virginia (4-1) built a 27-0 first-quarter lead. His scoring passes covered 2 yards to Jonathan Stupar, 18 yards to Tom Santi and 5 yards to Rashawn Jackson.
Peerman, who entered the game as the Atlantic Coast Conference's rushing leader at 120 yards per game, scored on a 2-yard run and Chris Gould added a 23-yard field goal as the Cavaliers took a 30-7 lead at halftime.
Sewell finished 16-of-31 for 169 yards, while Peerman was held to 87 yards on 24 carries.
Pitt's first-half touchdown came on a 1-yard run by LeSean McCoy after Vic Hall muffed a punt and the Panthers' Tyler Tkach recovered at the Virginia 22. A 19-yard pass from Pat Bostick to Oderick Turner set up McCoy's TD.
Bostick also hooked up with Turner on a 2-yard scoring strike on the first play of the fourth quarter. The score was set up by a 42-yard Bostick-to-Turner pass on fourth and 2.
Virginia looked nothing like the team that stumbled to 105 yards and five first downs in a season-opening loss to Wyoming, eclipsing those totals in the opening period. But Pitt's offensive struggles continued. The Panthers, who failed to convert 22 consecutive third-down chances during one stretch this season, failed on their first seven third-down opportunities against the Cavaliers.
It was a nightmarish game for Pitt (2-3) from the start. The Panthers gambled by trying an onside kick to start the game but touched the ball prematurely, giving Virginia possession at the Panthers 39. It took the Cavaliers only four plays to score.
Peerman ran for 11 yards, then gained 15 on a screen pass, aided by a downfield block by Ian-Yates Cunningham. Sewell scrambled to the 2, then found Stupar in the back of the end zone.
After a three-and-out by Pitt, Virginia needed only five plays to cover 51 yards. On first down from the 18, Sewell threw to Santi, who outjumped Pitt's Eric Thatcher for the ball at the 2 and stepped into the corner of the end zone.
Pitt fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Denzell Burell recovered at the Panthers 26. Five plays later, on first-and-goal from the 5, Sewell tossed a swing pass to Jackson, who was met by two defenders just shy of the goal line but spun in for the touchdown.
Virginia's fourth touchdown, Peerman's 2-yard run, was set up by a 45-yard punt return by Hall and was kept alive by a third-down pass interference penalty in the end zone.
Pitt seemed intent on not putting too much pressure on Bostick, a true freshman making his first start. Bostick tried only three passes, completing all of them, in the first half as the Panthers tried to spring McCoy and the shifty LaRod Stephens-Howling free on the ground.
Forced to try to play catch-up in the second half, Bostick was sacked three times and threw an interception to Jamaal Jackson. For the game, he was 18-of-31 for 181 yards.
Virginia's offense bogged down in the third quarter, failing to pick up a first down in three series, but the Cavaliers answered Pitt's second touchdown with fourth-period touchdown drives of 69 and 63 yards. Peerman capped the first with a 13-yard run, and Hall ended the second with a 4-yard run on a fake field goal.