Game Recap: Pitt vs. Georgia Tech (10/25/14)
By: Nick Rose
Unfortunately, this season’s homecoming game against Georgia Tech was nothing for Pitt Football to celebrate. After seemingly getting their season back on track last Thursday with a win against Virginia Tech, the Panthers fell to 4-4 after a 56-28 beating by ACC Coastal Division rivals Georgia Tech.
The game was a disaster for the Panthers right off the bat. After receiving the opening kickoff, quarterback Chad Voytik fumbled on Pitt’s second play of the day. Georgia Tech took over on the Pitt 29 yard line, and the drive was capped off by a Broderick Snoddy 4 yard touchdown run. Then, on Pitt’s ensuing drive, Panthers fans rejoiced as James Conner broke away from the Yellow Jackets defense for a 74 yard run. However, at the end the run, Conner slowed up, fumbled out of the endzone, and Georgia Tech once again took over possession. This led to a 79 yard touchdown pass from Justin Thomas to Charles Perkins. That was followed by an Isaac Bennett fumble, which resulted in a Justin Thomas 14 yard touchdown scamper. As if things couldn’t get any worse for Pitt, Tyler Boyd coughed up the football on their next drive, and Georgia Tech took advantage of the blunder by feeding the ball to Snoddy, who took the carry 34 yards down field for his second score of the contest. Voytik would add one more fumble to Pitt’s catastrophic start, which tied the NCAA record for most fumbles in one quarter.
Trailing 28-0 after the first quarter, the Panthers picked it up a little bit for the rest of the half. The defense held the Yellow Jackets out of the end zone for the entire quarter, and the offense tightened up to prevent any more turnovers. James Conner rushed for a pair of touchdowns, which went for 1 and 4 yards, respectively. This cut Pitt’s deficit to 14 going into the half, and things were starting to look up at Heinz Field.
Georgia Tech received the second half kickoff and quickly recaptured the momentum. It took them only 3:44 to drive down field and score a touchdown off of a Snoddy 28 yard run. Pitt returned the favor on their next drive, though, as Conner rumbled for a 16 yard touchdown of his own. The Yellow Jackets would retain the ball for the remainder of the third quarter, but the Panthers forced and recovered a fumble to stop their lengthy drive early in the fourth.
In accordance with the spirit of the rest of the game, Pitt failed to cash in on the turnover and went three and out. On Georgia Tech’s first play after fielding the punt, Tony Zenon rushed 57 yards to pay dirt. Pitt surrendered their sixth fumble of the day on the next drive, and Georgia Tech yet again needed only one play to score. This time, it was a Devon Hill 8 yard rush.
For the Panthers next possession, Chad Voytik was benched in favor of backup Trey Anderson. Anderson found a small amount of success when he hooked with Isaac Bennett on a wheel route for a 35-yard touchdown, Pitt’s only score through the air of the game. The Yellow Jackets scored one more time before the last whistle to make the final score 56-28.