Pitt improves to 1-1; defeats Buffalo 27-16
The Buffalo Bulls gave the Pitt Panthers a bit of a scare at Heinz Field Saturday evening. The Bulls got out to a 6-0 lead after the first quarter and went to the locker room down 10-9. The Bulls kept it close until the fourth quarter when Panthers running back LeSean McCoy scored a 2 yard touchdown on a 10 play ‚Äì 74 yard drive that took up 4:40. It was McCoy‚Äôs third touchdown of the game and the score put the Panthers up 24-16 midway through the 4th quarter. Kicker Connor Lee put the game away on the Panthers next drive converting a 42 yard field goal to put the Panthers up by 11.
Pitt did not play well today. Their front seven struggled to contain the Bulls running game. Bulls running back James Starks rushed for 97 yards and averaged 4.9 yards per carry. Starks was able to move the chains which opened up the passing game. Drew Willy went 21/34 for 245 yards 1 TD ‚Äì 1INT. The Bulls took a page out of Bowling Green‚Äôs game plan and used a lot of short passes to gain first downs. The Bulls had 23 first downs in the game.
The penalties were the difference in the game
The Bulls were not disciplined at all
Pitt made the needed adjustments following the first half. They became much more opportunistic in the second half but the team has to be concerned by Buffalo and Bowling Green‚Äôs ability to move the ball on the Panthers defense. Both teams found ways to neutralize the Panthers defensive line.
Bill Stull was efficient (23/33 246 yds 1 INT) but Stull plays way too conservative and rarely takes any chances.
Part of the reason for that is the offensive system the Panthers run but even during camp Stull didn‚Äôt take a lot of chances. He reads his check downs well but too many times he dumps the ball off instead of trying to go down field. Pitt is going to have to adjust their offensive strategy to get teams away from only focusing on LeSean McCoy. The Panthers passing game doesn‚Äôt put any fear in the opposition. Wide receiver Oderick Turner rebounded today after an awful performance against Bowling Green. Turner led the Panthers with 5 receptions for 70 yards.
Pittsburgh QB Bill Stull (23/33 246yds 1INt)
Buffalo QB Drew Willy (21/34 245 yds 1TD ‚Äì 1INt)
Pittsburgh LeSean McCoy (19 ATT ‚Äì 89yds ‚Äì 3TD)
Buffalo James Starks ( 20 ATT ‚Äì 97 yds)
Pittsburgh Oderick Turner ( 5rec ‚Äì 70 yds)
Pittsburgh T.J. Porter (6rec ‚Äì 57 yards)
Buffalo Brett Hamlin (5rec ‚Äì 99yds ‚Äì 1Td)
Buffalo Naaman Roosevelt ( 6rec ‚Äì 65 yds)
A crowd of 42,494 was in attendence