We knew going into the game that this would be a test for the Panthers. How well have they transitioned under Todd Graham's system? For a while, Pitt was doing great. They were being strong on D and getting scores on offense
Then the 4th quarter happened.
It was a question heading into the game. Can the defense remain strong throughout the entire game? There were signs that Iowa's offense was beginning to win the battle in the second quarter. The 4th quarter was no contest, Iowa had another 4th quarter comeback to win at home.
The offense for a while was doing great, especially in the 3rd quarter. They scored two TDs to move up 24-10 and tacked on a FG to start the 4th Q to go up by 17. But the defense let this team down by allowing Iowa to get back in this game. Tino's interception, while the game decider, didn't surprise me. It was clear that momentum was all Iowa in the 4th quarter and Tino isn't experienced enough in this new offense to lead the team down the field and score. Pitt now goes into next week at home against Notre Dame thinking what could've been and coming off a loss instead of having loads of confidence after winning on the road and playing against a potentially 0-3 Notre Dame.
Pitt always seems to have these losses where they've led or been close, only to falter in the 4th. Cincinnati and NC State in 2009. Utah and Connecticut last season. After being here for the 3 years, no Pitt loss surprises me anymore. It is disappointing though. Congrats to Iowa, they deserved to win this game.