You can look at a ton of different plays in the Pitt-Iowa game to figure out where it went wrong after a dominating half of football for the Panthers. They were in full control coming out of the first half and when James Conner broke off another long gallop through the Iowa defense on the first drive of the second half, it looked like the Panthers would cruise. Instead, the Hawkeyes held Pitt off the board and turned the tide on the very next drive to give Iowa the win.
Pitt's Ryan Winslow did his job when Pitt's opening second half drive stalled and pinned the Hawkeyes at their own six-yard line. Iowa was able to scratch out a first down and had first and ten at their own 20-yard line. The Hawkeyes switch of a quarterback at halftime paid off from there as backup C.J. Beathard laid out a perfect pass to Damond Powell, who had a step behind Pitt cornerback Avonte Maddox. Powell pulled off a brilliant one-handed haul of the pass and was dragged down by Maddox at the Pitt 18-yard line. Three plays later and Iowa went from being down by ten points with very little life to a razor thin three point ballgame. Pitt never seemed to recover from that.
Whenever there was a play to be made, Pitt didn't make it and Beathard and Iowa did. You have to give credit where credit is due in this game. Iowa came out of a half that they were physically and soundly beaten to turn things around and win. How many times have you watched a football game and seen a team get physically whipped like that and just continue to have it happen in the second half? A large amount of time, right? The Hawkeyes needed a big play to change the momentum and Beathard and Powell gave it to them.
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