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The Pitt-Georgia Tech Turning Point: A Little Luck

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With the air taken out of Heinz Field, Pitt got a touch of luck with a tipped pass that turned into a big score.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve been here before. With the hiring of Pat Narduzzi, it seems like it’s almost every game now. Things seem to make their way, one way or another, down to the wire. I think Pitt has won enough of these close ones though to retire the term “Pitting.” Sure it still happens, but since Narduzzi took over, they seem to come out on top more times than not now. It happened again yesterday, and this time, a touch of luck gave us The Turning Point that gave Pitt a 37-34 win yesterday.

During the second half, the Panthers could not find the end zone and were settling for field goals. As such, Gerogia Tech had clawed their way back into a tie game, at 27. As the fourth quarter wore on, Nate Peterman and Quadree Henderson muffed a jet sweep and the Yellow Jackets pounced on the loose ball. The Ramblin’ Wreck took a seven point lead a few plays later and things seemed doomed for the Panthers.

With a little over five minutes remaining, Peterman found Henderson for a five-yard gain and the crowd felt a twinkle of hope. I think anyone there can tell you that, that twinkle was quickly stomped out by the next play, as James Conner was dropped for a four-yard loss. With third and nine looming and just over four minutes to play, the atmosphere had dropped inside the stadium. For the second week in a row, Peterman stepped up.

Peterman took the snap and looked for tight end, Scott Orndoff. He saw the linebacker drop into coverage, so he glanced to his right. With that not open and the linebacker dropping off a bit, Orndoff broke free down the seam. Peterman’s pass was lightly tipped by defensive back, Corey Griffin, and softly fell into Orndoff’s hands. The Waynesburg native sprinted the rest of the way to tie the game and lift the home crowd with just under four minutes left.

Yes, the Tyrique Jarrett and Matt Galambos stop on fourth down, on the next series, was massive, but the crowd was into it, at that point. Therefore, the team was into it. They got into it by the third down conversion for Peterman.

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