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The Turning Point: Henderson’s Fumble

Pitt was right in the game, until a big play player made a big-time play...for the wrong team.

Pittsburgh v Miami Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

We knew with Miami’s offense that this would be a tough back and forth game for the Panthers. It proved to be that way and after Pitt’s defense held the Hurricanes to a couple of first half field goals, the Panthers were within striking distance. To start the second half, Pitt trailed by six points, but was gaining possession to begin the second half.

Down 27-21, Pitt’s plan was to maintain striking distance with Miami. To start off the second half, Nathan Peterman gained one yard to bring up 2nd and 9, from their own 26-yard line. The Panthers tried a jet sweep to the explosive Quadree Henderson. Henderson was met by several Hurricane defenders and fumbled. When Chad Thomas, of Miami, was finished gathering the ball and was tackled, Miami had the ball at Pitt’s eight yard line.

We can talk about Peterman’s interception later in the half or a number of other plays, but the bottom line is this: Pitt had to stay within striking distance, and after this play, they no longer were in that range.

The fumble allowed Miami to regain momentum, establish a two-score lead, and never look back. You can point out a number of different plays from yesterday’s loss, but this is the one that changed the game for good.

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