Penn State escapes upset from Pitt

Dan Del Bene, Staff Writer

The 100th meeting of the Keystone State rivalry ended in a nailbiter at Happy Valley.

The last meeting of the in-state rivalry paid off with a thriller through four quarters. This matchup surprised everyone when the heavily favored No. 13 Nittany Lions who were favored by 17 points played a close game with the Panthers, narrowly winning 17-10.

The game at the start was delayed by nearby storms in the area, which was the cause of a slow and rainy first quarter.

Running back Journey Brown got the Lions offense started with an 84-yard run to put them inside the red zone. They capped off the drive with a touchdown from true freshman Devyn Ford.

After, Pitt drove down the field and made the score 7-3 with a field goal.

Pitt then took the lead with a 3-yard rushing touchdown from Vincent Lee.

Just before the half ended, kicker Jordan Stout made the longest field goal in school history with a towering 57-yard kick.

The second half was dominated by the Lions true freshman running back Noah Cain who scored in the middle of the third quarter off of a tough 13-yard touchdown to put the Nittany Lions up 17-7. Pitt later kicked a field goal to make it a one-possession game, 17-10.

The Penn State defense played great all game, but they showed up when it mattered in a fourth-quarter goal-line stand at the one-yard line that left the Panthers to attempt a short field goal.  Surprisingly, the Pitt kicker missed it off of the post.

Pitt never gave up and was driving at the last minute of the game, down by 7, but the Lions defense stopped them again with a last-play hail mary that fell incomplete.

Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett had a bounce-back game with 372-passing yards but no scores. His receivers Taysir Mack and Maurice Ffrench both had great games with 20 receptions and 168 total yards.

The Nittany Lions had their running game going with four different running backs that made a difference. Leading rusher Journey Brown had 109 yards on 10 carries. Both true freshman running backs Noah Cain and Devyn Ford each had the only two touchdowns. Receiver KJ Hamler had a 53-yard reception.

The Lions come out on top for maybe the last meeting in the in-state rivalry.