Pitt has made a habit out of starting out slow on the road and having to play catch up, only to fall short in the end. It seemed to start out the same way for the Panthers last night, but they righted the ship and came away with a win.
This was in large part to a very quick three and out the defense forced to give Pitt some momentum in the first quarter. Pitt was trailing 7-3 when they took over in the first quarter and faced a 3rd-and-four from their own 44-yard line. Chad Voytik threw for Tyler Boyd and instead found BC's Steven Daniels, who returned it to the Panther 29-yard line to set up Boston College to add to their lead and whip the home crowd into a frenzy. The defense needed to rise up and pick up their quarterback.
With a tiny bit of luck, the Panthers rose up indeed. On first down, Tyler Murphy and BC ran a perfectly executed play-action pass and Murphy just flat out missed a wide open Dan Crimmins. From there, the Pitt defense dialed up the pressure with Shakir Soto and David Durham providing the pass rush on second and third down respectively. That heat forced Murphy into two passes that fell to the turf to bring up 4th and ten. Alex Howell came on and missed a 46-yard field goal...badly.
With the momentum swung, Pitt went on to score on the ensuing drive and piled on 17 second quarter points to take control of the game last night. It also set the tone and allowed the Panthers to continue to pound the ball and impose their will on the BC defense.
Do you have another favorite for the turning point of the game?