There were a few big plays in yesterday's 29-24 loss to Miami at Heinz Field for Pitt. You could point to the controversial touchdown by Brad Kaaya on the game's first drive, which came on a fourth down. Kicker Chris Blewitt missed two field goals to keep the Panthers from clawing closer. Pitt has had some bad defensive play on early game drives this season and have been able to bounce back nicely. But Nathan Peterman's first-half interception put Pitt into a hole that they ultimately couldn't get out of.
Peterman has taken care of the ball nicely this season and is a big reason why Pitt has an 8-4 record this year. Unfortunately against Miami, a questionable choice came at a bad time for the junior quarterback. After Kaaya's touchdown gave the Canes a 7-0 lead, Pitt needed to answer. The took over at their own 25-yard line and started things off nice with a Qadree Ollison four-yard gain to bring up second down inside their own 30-yard line. Peterman faded back to throw and pressure moved him to his right. Peterman aimed for senior tight end, JP Holtz for a big gain. He did not see Hurricane Artie Burns sitting directly to his right and drifting towards Holtz. It made for a very easy interception for Miami and a 19-yard return set up "The U" at the Pitt 23.
Pitt's defense stiffened and Miami had to settle for a field goal to go up 10-0. The offense continued to sputter and a couple of Blewitt misses kept the Panthers from getting any closer until the final couple of minutes of the game. When Miami is having the type of season they are, it is important to jump on them early and get them down. Instead Pitt did the exact opposite and set them up for a nice first half lead that the Panthers could never recover from yesterday.