Blog: Pitt outlasts Duke in shootout, 58-55
Posted September 21, 2013
Durham, N.C. — Final, Pitt 58, Duke 55: Pitt took control early in the game and came out with fervor gaining an 18-7 lead over the Blue Devils in the first quarter, maintaining that lead throughout the most of the game. As the rain started to roll in, Duke took control closing the once 23 point gap to only three with minutes left in the game, but they still could not recover to win. Quarterback Tom Savage had 424 passing yards and six completed touchdowns for Pitt. The Panthers totaled more overall yards than the Blue Devils 598-532.
4th quarter, 3:17, Pittsburgh 58, Duke 55: Duke took charge and answered again with a four yard touchdown run by Commette cutting down the Pittsburgh lead by 3 points. The Blue Devils had three plays with 30 yards gained in 1:12.
4th quarter, 5:30, Pittsburgh 58, Duke 48: Blue Devils struck back with a six yard touchdown pass from Commette to tight end Braxton Deaver for the touchdown. The PAT was good. Duke had eight plays with 67 yards gained in 2:54.
4th quarter, 8:30, Pittsburgh 58, Duke 41: Commette with his 4th interception for the day goes the other way for Pitt for a 37 yard run by linebacker Anthony Gonzalez. The PAT was good.
4th quarter, 13:36, Pittsburgh 51, Duke 41: Duke responded again on a two yard touchdown by Commette.
3rd quarter, 3:05 Pittsburgh 51, Duke 35: The Blue Devils answered immediately in one play as Commette and Braxton connect on a 75 yard pitch and catch.
3rd quarter, 3:18 Pittsburgh 51, Duke 28: Savage connected on his 6th touchdown of the game to tight end Scott Orindoff. The Panthers had five plays and totaled 30 yards in 2:23
3rd quarter, 11:06 Pittsburgh 43, Duke 28: Pitt takes advantage at the top of the third quarter and furthers with a passing play from Savage to Street for a 21 yard touchdown. The PAT was good.
Halftime, Pittsburgh 37, Duke 28: The Panthers took control over the humdrum Blue Devils' team in the first quarter. Duke did not let the Pitt lead stop them in the second quarter as Blue Devils' wide receiver Jamison Crowder broke out with three touchdowns, making all-time records, as well. Pitt's quarterback Tom Savage has a career high 298 yards passing with four touchdowns and running back James Conner has had 144 rush yards. The Panthers have 498 yards covered at the half. For Duke, since starting 0-for-3 with two interceptions, quarterback Brandon Connette has gone 6-for-8 for 103 yards gained and two TD. Also, Connette has rushed 83 yards on nine carries.
2nd quarter, 0:24 Pittsburgh 37, Duke 28: Panthers strike before the half as wide receiver Tyler Boyd took it in 14 yards for the touchdown. The PAT was good. Pitt had eight plays with 65 gains in 2:34.
2nd quarter, 3:08 Pittsburgh 30, Duke 28: Duke closes the gap again, 30-28, with a 82 yard kickoff return touchdown by Jamison Crowder, which will be his third touchdown of the night and the 5th longest in Duke history. Crowder is the first player to have a rush, reception, and return touchdown since Scottie Montgomery in 1999.
2nd quarter, 6:21 Pittsburgh 30, Duke 21: Duke's wide receiver Jamison Crowder took the end around for a seven yard Blue Devils' touchdown and the PAT good, closing the gap 30-21 Pitt.
2nd quarter, 9:25 Pittsburgh 30, Duke 14: Panthers' kicker Chris Blewitt made a 24 yard field goal for the 30-14 lead over the Blue Devils. Piit had nine plays with 74 yards gained in 2:53.
2nd quarter, 12:24 Pittsburgh 27, Duke 14: The Blue Devils answered back with a 62 yard touchdown reception by Tyler Boyd, who becomes the all-time reception leader for Duke. Duke had five plays with 75 yards gained in 2:09. Pitt and Duke have combined six touchdowns in less than 18 minutes of game time.
2nd quarter, 14:33 Pittsburgh 27, Duke 7: As the first play of the second quarter in ten seconds, Pitt's wide receiver Tyler Boyd takes it down 69 yards to push the Panthers' lead 27-7 with the PAT good.
1st quarter, 0:29: Pittsburgh 20, Duke 7: Panthers advance their lead 20-7 by a 67 yard pass completion from Tom Savage to Devin Street. The PAT was good. Pitt had three plays with 89 yards gained 1:10.
1st quarter, 1:43: Pittsburgh 13, Duke 7: The Blue Devils are catching up with a 16 yard touchdown catch by Max McCaffrey, the first of his career. The extra point was good. Duke had seven plays, with 78 yards gained in 2:23.
1st quarter, 4:11: Pittsburgh 13, Duke 0: The Panthers answered again in the first with a 27 yard catch and run by wide receiver Tyler Boyd to advance Pitt's lead 13-0 with this time's PAT good. With 149 yards gained for the Panthers, a missed field goal and a missed PAT, Pitt maintains to retain their lead.
1st quarter, 9:48: Pittsburgh 6, Duke 0: Pittsburgh's tailback James Conner rushed three yards for the first touchdown of today's game. The point-after-try was no good for the Panthers. They had twelve plays, went 85 yards, in 5:12.
Duke won the toss to defend the south goal against Pittsburgh. Of Note, Duke has numerous injured players who will be out for today's game including: safety Corbin McCarthy, offensive tackle Casey Blaser, quarterback Anthony Boone, cornerback Jared Boyd, quarterback Thomas Sirk, wide receiver Jack Wise, and defensive tackle A.J. Wolf.
Wallace Wade stadium is not a packed house on this 71 degree day with cloudy skies ominous of rain, but the Blue Devils' players and fans that are here appear fired up to win today's historical, first conference game ever against the Panthers. Duke stands at 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the ACC after falling to Georgia Tech, 38-14, last week. Pitt enters the week at 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the ACC action after defeating New Mexico, 49-27, this past Saturday at home. Today's game will mark the 18th on the gridiron between the Panthers and the Blue Devils, with Pitt having a 9-8 series advantage.
Preview: The Pittsburgh Panthers will be looking for a more favorable reception from a team in the Atlantic Coast Conference as they face the Duke Blue Devils in league play at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Pittsburgh is in its first year in the ACC after spending the previous 22 seasons in the now defunct Big East. The Panthers opened the season against No. 8 Florida State, but the first game against a team in their new league went sour as they were handed a 41-13 whipping, during Jameis Winston's breakout party. Pittsburgh bounced back with a 49-27 win over New Mexico last weekend. Now the Panthers hit the road for the first time this season.
Duke did not have a strong opening to its ACC schedule as its 2-0 overall start was ruined last weekend against Georgia Tech. The Blue Devils were dropped 38-14, by the Yellow Jackets to kick off a four-game homestand. Duke earned wins against FCS foe NC Central (45-0) and Memphis (28-14) in the first two games of the campaign.
This game marks the 18th all-time meeting between these programs. Pittsburgh owns a slim, 9-8, edge in the previous matchups.
After scoring only 13 points on 297 yards of total offense against the Seminoles, the Panthers needed a bounce back offensive performance. They certainly achieved that against New Mexico. The Panthers tallied 527 yards and scored more than 45 points for just the third time since 2009.
Tom Savage has not exactly shined as the new starting quarterback for head coach Paul Chryst. The redshirt senior has completed a respectable 62.2 percent of his pass attempts, but for only 437 yards, while he has had a pair of interceptions in each game.
Part of the issue is that Savage has not been spreading the ball to multiple receivers. With Devin Street on the edge it is difficult to blame him. Street has hauled in 11 passes for 221 yards this season. His yards-per-reception average (20.1) is among the five best marks in the ACC. Freshman Tyler Boyd (eight receptions, 160 yards, TD) is the only other player with more than four receptions and 40 yards.
The Panthers prefer to run the ball though and for good reason. Isaac Bennett (23 carries, 136 yards, two TDs) and James Conner (21 carries, 153 yards, two TDs) have provided a nice tandem in the backfield.
While the offense enjoyed a resurgence against New Mexico, the defense was equally rejuvenated. The Panthers allowed just 270 yards of total offense against the Lobos, collected three sacks and held them to just 6-of-16 on third down attempts. It was quite the improvement from the 533 yards the Panthers allowed to Florida State.
Todd Thomas and Jason Hendricks each totaled 10 tackles and two for loss against New Mexico. Aaron Donald was even better in terms of creating negative plays with four tackles for loss.
The showing the Blue Devils had against Georgia Tech was an alarming negative step back for the offense. The Blue Devils finished with just 254 yards in the contest. Duke had put up more than 400 yards in the two previous games. The task now is to get back on track.
If Duke hopes to accomplish that goal, it will need to get Jamison Crowder the ball as often as possible. Crowder leads the ACC in receptions (23), while sitting fourth in yards (240). Tight end Braxton Deaver (10 receptions, 107 yards, TD) has been a nice option as well.
Jela Duncan (34 carries, 196 yards, two TDs) has added more strength to the skill positions and was one of few players to have success against Georgia Tech. Juwan Thompson (116 yards, TD) gives the Blue Devils depth in the running game.
With Anthony Boone out indefinitely with a broken collarbone, Brandon Connette now has the quarterback job all to himself. Connette had 29 pass attempts in the first two games (Boone had 36) but he nearly matched that total against Georgia Tech. On the season Connette has completed 59.6 percent of his pass attempts for 375 yards and four touchdowns with just one interception.
On defense the Blue Devils are allowing just 296.7 yards and 17.3 points per game. However they did not replicate that against Georgia Tech by allowing 469 yards. Kelby Brown is the leader for the unit in terms of tackles (31), although he is one of four players with 20 stops already. The Blue Devils have just three sacks as a team and need to produce more in the pass rush.
This game features two of the best wide receivers in the ACC so expect Crowder and Street's name to be called often. Though Duke is at home, Pittsburgh has the more well-rounded squad outside of its star receiver.