Turning Point: Fourth Quarter Holding Penalty

Laken Tomlinson's penalty set Pitt up for a big pick-6 - Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

A timely penalty went Pitt's way to help seal the deal at Duke on Saturday

With a 58-55 final score, there were so many turning points in Pitt's game against Duke. Our emotions were taken on a roller coaster ride from about mid-way through the second quarter to the end. We could only find one play/sequence to zero in on and we will look at the holding penalty (there were two actually on the play) that was given to Duke to help Pitt build a lead that the Blue Devils just couldn't overcome.

With Pitt holding a ten-point lead with just ten minutes left in the game, Duke went for a quick misdirection screen to the human highlight film, Jamison Crowder, and it hit big. Quarterback Brandon Connette faked one way and went back to Crowder on the other side and the electrifying Duke receiver took off up the sidelines for a big play to seemingly pull within three points of Pitt. There was one problem ... well, two actually. Two holding flags were thrown on Duke and the one that stood out was offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson tackling Todd Thomas at the point of attack. The penalty negated the play and three plays later, Connette threw a pick-6 to Panthers' linebacker Anthony Gonzalez on third down.

The Blue Devils fought back, but at that moment, Pitt's 17-point lead was just too much for Duke to overcome.

Be sure to join Cardiac Hill's Facebook page and follow us on Twitter @PittPantherBlog for our regular updates on Pitt athletics. Follow the author @BrunoPittsburgh

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