|Date of game: 9/21/2013
Recap: Duke vs. Pittsburgh
Durham, NC (Sports Network) - Tom Savage threw six touchdown passes to lift the Pittsburgh Panthers to a 58-55 victory over the Duke Blue Devils in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Savage ended the day 23-of-33 passing and racked up 424 yards with no interceptions for the Panthers (2-1, 1-1 ACC). Devin Street and Tyler Boyd both had huge days catching the ball, combining for five of the six passing touchdowns. James Conner added 173 yards and a score on 26 rushing attempts. The victory marked the first conference win as a member of the ACC for Pittsburgh.
Duke Blue Devils(2-2,0-2 ACC) quarterback Brandon Connette threw for 323 yards on 21-of-32 passing and four scores and added two scores and 101 yards rushing. He however threw four interceptions which ended up hurting Duke late in the game.
The Panthers started the game off fast by scoring the first 13 points. They scored on a three-yard run by Conner with 9:48 left in the first quarter. A failed extra point attempt left the Panthers up 6-0. Just over five minutes later Pittsburgh struck again with a 27-yard touchdown pass from Savage to Boyd.
With 1:43 remaining in the first quarter Connette connected on a 16-yard touchdown to Max McCaffrey, bringing Duke within six points.
Pittsburgh answered right back just over one minute later with a 67-yard touchdown pass from Savage to Street. After converting the extra point the Panthers were up 20-7 after one period of play. This led to 14 unanswered points by the Panthers. Pittsburgh only needed one play once they got the ball 27 seconds into the second quarter to score on a 69-yard touchdown pass from Savage to Boyd.
Connette countered just over two minutes later with a 62-yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder.
Pittsburgh responded with a nine-play drive that concluded with a 24-yard field goal by Chris Blewitt.
Duke went on a run of its own by rattling off 14 straight points that would see their deficit shrink to only two points. With 6:12 to play in the half, Crowder ran in for a seven-yard touchdown. He followed that up with an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in just under three minutes.
With the score 30-28, Pittsburgh scored on a 14-yard touchdown from Savage to Boyd with just 24 seconds left before the half. The score sent the Panthers into the break with a 37-28 advantage.
Pittsburgh's momentum continued into the third quarter and led it to a 21-yard touchdown from Savage to Street, just four minutes into the half. A failed fake punt by Duke gave the Panthers great field position at Duke's 30- yard line with 5:41 in the third quarter. The drive was capped off with a 17- yard touchdown strike from Savage to Scott Orndhoff. The score gave the Panthers a 51-28 lead with just a little more than a quarter to play.
Duke responded with a 75-yard touchdown from Connette to Brandon Braxton on the first play of the next drive.
Connette punched in a one-yard touchdown after setting himself up with an 18- yard throw to McCaffrey that brought Duke to the one. After the failed two- point conversion run by Connette, the Blue Devils were trailing 51-41 with 13:36 remaining in the game.
In the midst of Duke's comeback attempt, Connette threw an interception that Anthony Gonzalez returned 37 yards for a score, putting Pittsburgh up 58-41 with 8:30 left in the contest.
After a 21-yard rush from Crowder on a reverse, Connette was able to deliver a six-yard pass to Braxton Deaver for the score. This left the score at 58-48 with 5:30 to play in the game and Pittsburgh with the ball.
A botched snap on the punt gave Duke the ball back at the Pittsburgh 30-yard line with four and a half minutes left to play. On the following play Connette hit Crowder for a 25-yard gain that set the Blue Devils up for a Connette four-yard touchdown run. Following the successful extra-point Duke was down just three with a little over three minutes remaining.
With just over two minutes left, Pittsburgh was facing 3rd-and-7 and Savage completed a pass to Kevin Weatherspoon for 15 yards to seal the game for the Panthers.
The Blue Devils came into the weekend ranked fourth in the nation allowing only 125.3 passing yardsds per game but gave up 424 yards through the air. The Panthers came into the game ranked 69th in passing offense, averaging only 222.5-yards a game through the air.
This is also the second highest scoring game between to ACC foes with a combined 113 points. The first highest being the 118 points scored between North Carolina and Georgia Tech last season.Game Notes