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[Live Blog] Penn State vs. Pitt

Greetings from Heinz Field, Penn State fans! James Franklin’s Nittany Lions are ready to rekindle their rivalry with Pitt at noon on ESPN. We’ll have live updates throughout the game on this page, including game analysis, photos, and more. Here’s the media information you’ll need and here are our staff predictions.

Fourth Quarter

1:15 — Pitt takes a trio of knees to close out the first win in this bitter rivalry since 2000. Thanks for following along.

3:56 — McSorley went deep for Hamilton on second-and-six but the ball glanced off his fingertips and fell to the turf. The offensive line gave up a costly sack the very next play to bring up fourth-and-16 with the game on the line. McSorley proved to be mister clutch by finding Thompkins over the middle for 34 yards to keep the drive going. However, McSorley’s next pass was picked off in the end zone by Ryan Lewis to effectively seal the 42-39 victory for the Panthers.

5:00 — Joey Julius came up big with a touchback to keep the clock stopped. Penn State’s defense delivered an enormous three-and-out with plenty of time left.

6:30 — Penn State turned up the tempo and it immediately paid dividends for Joe Moorhead’s offense. McSorley connected with Juwan Johnson and DaeSean Hamilton to reach the Pitt two-yard line before Saquon Barkley racked up his fifth touchdown of the day. Hamilton converted the two-point try to make it 42-39 with 5:00 minutes to play.

8:42 — The Nittany Lion defense held strong with a three-and-out to force Pitt’s punter onto the field. John Reid utilized a little shake-and-bake, but was bottled up at the Penn State 40-yard line.

alexbauer-3816 Koa Farmer

10:24 — Penn State needed a big drive to get back in the ballgame but another crucial sack forced Blake Gillikin to punt, but the freshman delivered a career-high 69-yard bomb all the way to the Pitt seven to keep hope alive.

12:04 — Quadree Henderson took the kick back 84 yards to set up first-and-goal from the Penn State 10-yard line. Peterman found Conner for his second touchdown on third-and-11 to make it 42-31 Pitt.

13:35 — McSorley was sacked on third-and-nine after the Nittany Lions couldn’t move the ball following the turnover, but Tyler Davis stayed perfect for his career (11-of-11) with a 38-yard field goal to cut Pitt’s lead to 35-31.

13:42 — Penn State’s kickoff coverage unit did a fantastic job pinning the Panthers deep at their own 13-yard line. Two plays later, defensive end Torrence Brown jarred the ball loose from Conner’s grasp and fortunately John Reid was there to recover the enormous fumble on the Pitt 11-yard line.

15:00 — The Nittany Lions continued their drive from the Pitt 41 and McSorley promptly found Thompkins once more for a huge 39-yard gain to set up first-and-goal from the Panthers’ two. Barkley found the back of the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the game two plays later to make it 35-28 Pitt.

Third Quarter

:46 — Penn State took over on downs at its own 32-yard line after the missed field goal. McSorley found DeAndre Thompkins for 14 yards over the middle on third-and-eight as time expired in the third. 35-21 Pitt.

4:18 — Nathan Peterman ripped off a 30-yard run up the middle to lead the Panthers into Penn State territory, but Brent Pry’s defense stepped up and forced a 50-yard field goal attempt from Chris Blewitt, which sailed wide right to keep this a two-score ballgame.

7:24 — Miles Sanders brought the kickoff back 33 yards to give Penn State excellent field position. Redshirt sophomore Mark Allen made his season debut on the ensuing drive and the Nittany Lions were able to reach the Pitt 36, but after a great spin move, Barkley coughed it up for the team’s third lost fumble.


11:54 — Pitt responded with a steady drive into Nittany Lion territory thanks to a pair of big gains from running back Qadree Ollison. The Panthers would increase their lead to 14 once more as James Conner went up and over the line of scrimmage for his first touchdown of the afternoon. 35-21 Pitt midway through the third quarter.

12:33 — Trace McSorley got Penn State immediately back on track with a nifty toss to Saquon Barkley, who did the rest of the work on an electric 40-yard score down the left sideline. It only took two plays for the Nittany Lions to cut Pitt’s lead to 28-21.

15:00 — The Nittany Lion defense stepped up with a huge stop of James Conner before back-to-back five-yard penalties forced Pitt to punt.

Second Quarter

:42 — Pitt takes over and runs out the clock, holding onto a comfortable 28-14 lead at the half.

3:17 — Penn State finally got some momentum going with halftime on the horizon, as it went 83 yards on eight plays thanks to a 29-yard run from Saquon Barkley earlier in the drive. The sophomore would go airborne over the goal line for his second touchdown of the day to make it 28-14 with :42 seconds left before the break.

6:45 — James Conner started to heat up with an easy 20-yard gain on second-and-six to move the chains to Pitt’s 42, but the Panthers’ drive stalled and they punted it away to the Penn State 17-yard line.

8:20 — Penn State couldn’t capitalize on the turnover, as another deflating three-and-out forces Gillikin to punt the ball away to the Panther 18-yard line.

10:20 — Senior safety Malik Golden made a huge play for Penn State on third-and-11, picking off Nathan Peterman to set up first-and-10 from the Nittany Lion 35-yard line.


11:54 — The Nittany Lions promptly go three-and-out as McSorley fumbles out of bounds on third-and-four, bringing Gillikin back out for his third punt of the afternoon.

13:38 — Penn State gave up its second fumble of the game, giving the Panthers excellent field position as Jordan Whitehead picked up the loose ball. Pitt would go up 28-7 moments later on George Aston’s second touchdown run of the ballgame. Junior corner Christian Campbell was called for running into the kicker on the Pitt PAT, meaning the Nittany Lions will be assessed a 15-yard penalty on the kickoff.

15:00 — Pitt finds the end zone a few plays later on a two-yard toss from Peterman to tight end Scott Orndoff to go up 21-7 less than two minutes into the second quarter.

First Quarter

2:42 — Pitt’s offense went back to work the following drive and rattled off a handful of big gains to move the chains deep into Nittany Lion territory. James Conner picked up first and goal from the seven as time expired in the first quarter, with the Panthers still leading 14-7.

2:51 — Sophomore corner John Reid injected some much-needed momentum into the Nittany Lion sideline on a 59-yard punt return to the Pitt 15. After a pass interference call on the defense, Saquon Barkley cut the deficit to 14-7 with 2:42 to go in the first quarter with a three-yard touchdown run.

Saquon Barkley

4:51 — Penn State forced its first three-and-out of the game to finally stop the bleeding.

7:16 — Pittsburgh native and freshman running back Miles Sanders returned the ensuing kickoff 17 yards before Trace McSorley started to shake things off with a nice drive. The redshirt sophomore found Hamilton and Mike Gesicki to get the offense going, but Blake Gillikin came back on to punt after yet another stalled series.

8:03 — Before Penn State could even get going, left tackle Brendan Mahon was beaten badly off the edge and McSorley was strip-sacked for a fumble, eerily reminiscent of last week’s lone sack against Kent State. Two plays later, Pitt went up 14-0 on a touchdown pass from Nathan Peterman to Quadree Henderson.


12:46 — Sophomore wideout Quadree Henderson helped Pat Narduzzi’s Panthers rumble into Penn State territory on their first drive, thanks to a pair of breakaway carries for 47 total yards. Fullback George Aston would punch it in from one yard out a few plays later to give Pitt a 7-0 lead just under seven minutes into the game. The Panthers went 99 yards on 10 plays their first time with the ball.

15:00 — After receiving the opening kickoff, Penn State got out to a hot start against the Panthers, as Trace McSorley found DaeSean Hamilton three times for 35 yards on the first drive. The Nittany Lions were forced to punt, but downed Blake Gillikin’s boot at the Pitt one-yard line.


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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]


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