Stanford Outduels Pittsburgh 14-13 in El Paso
by Willie Keeler
Well, the Panthers season ended with a disappointing loss in El Paso, Texas against Stanford in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. The Panther defense put up another great effort but the offense couldn’t match it; final score of 14-13.
Monday’s game marks Pitt’s first appearance in the Sun Bowl since 2008 vs Oregon State. The 2008 game is now famously considered one of the worst bowl games of all time, and ended flatly in a 3-0 Oregon State victory. Interestingly, it is also remembered for the fans taking part in the Guinness world record for most people doing “the YMCA” in one place as The Village People performed at halftime.
This season’s game started off with a punter’s dual of 5 straight punts, one of which that saw Qadree Ollison’s Pitt career come to an end due to injury. The scoring drought ended with an Alex Kessman 29 Yard field goal to make it 3-0.
After some more punts Stanford’s offense had its first real drive of the game where they strung together 2 big plays to get their first touchdown of the game. Pitt would answer immediately with a drive ending in a 6 yard touchdown for Darrin Hall and that would do it for scoring in the first half.
In the second half the Panthers and Cardinals mostly exchanged punts again but Pitt would add another field goal and yet again Stanford would put one complete drive together that would end in a touchdown. Stanford’s touchdown was an insane fumble that fell right into the hands of Cameron Scarlett.
Kessman would miss a key field goal right after that from 55 yards in the swirling El Paso wind and then after a spirited last chance effort including a 4th and 9 conversion for Pitt, the Panthers would fall 14-13.
Pickett finished 11/29 with 136 yards passing. The rushing leader for Pitt was Hall with 16 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown. Taysir Mack was Pitt’s leading receiver with 4 receptions for 68 yards including a 41 yard catch. Seun Idowu would finish his Pitt career 8 tackles, a sack, and 1.5 tackles for loss in his final game as a Panther.