PITTSBURGH, PA - Quarterback Tyler Palko threw for 191 yards and three TDs in the first half as Pittsburgh (5-2, 3-1) built a 38-3 lead at the break on its way to a 41-17 win over Rutgers (4-3, 1-2) this afternoon at Heinz Field. The Panthers took advantage of four RU turnovers in the opening half to build its lead and held off a third-quarter Scarlet Knight rally, as RU outscored the Panthers 14-3 in the second stanza.
Pittsburgh took its opening drive 80 yards on seven plays, culminating in a 18-yard TD pass from Tyler Palko to Joe Delsardo and a 7-0 lead. Rutgers cut the lead to 7-3 when Jeremy Ito tied a career-long with a 48-yard field goal at the 7:38 mark, cashing in Jarvis Johnson's first INT of the 2004 season. Following a Ryan Hart interception, Pittsburgh marched 61 yards for its second touchdown, as Palko found Delsardo again, this time for 17 yards, and a 14-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers extended their lead to 21-3 in the opening minutes of the second quarter, as Palko connected with Greg Lee on an 31-yard pass, moving the offense to the one-yard line and setting up a TD run by Raymond Kirkley on the ensuing play. Pittsburgh added another to take a 28-3 lead when Josh Lay intercepted a Hart pass and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown. A 47-yard field goal and late TD pass from Palko extended the lead to 38-3 at the half.
In the second half, Rutgers scored back-to-back touchdowns, as Hart completed 4-of-5 passes, culminating in a 13-yard connection with Tres Moses at the 8:47 mark of the third quarter. The drive started when Hart hooked up with Chris Baker on a 31-yard pass play, followed by a 17-yard completion to Brian Leonard.
On its next possession, Hart opened with an 8-yard completion to Leonard and then found Clark Harris down the left sideline for a 59-yard catch-and-run play, moving the offense to the 1-yard line. Leonard then plunged into the end zone behind the block of Cedric Brown for his seventh TD of the season, cutting the deficit to 38-17. Pitt, however, responded with a field goal in the fourth quarter to increase its lead to 41-17.
Hart completed 31-of-57 passes for 351 yards, but was intercepted a season-high four times. Tres Moses caught a career-high 12 passes for 113 yards, including his first TD of the season.
Moses Continues Streak, Moves Up Career Charts
Tres Moses finished with 12 catches for 113 yards (120 for his career), moving into seventh place on the career receptions list at Rutgers (moving past eighth-place Eric Young, who caught 109 passes from 1985-89, and seventh-place Tim Odell, who caught 112 passes from 1977-80). Next up for Moses is No. 6 L.J. Smith, who finished his career with 122 receptions and is No. 6 all-time in the Rutgers annals. Moses began the game with 108 receptions, including 30 in his previous three contests. He also extended his streak for games with at least one catch to 18, dating back to the start of the 2003 campaign.
Moses Reaches Endzone
WR Tres Moses registered his first touchdown catch of the season when he hauled in a 13-yard pass from Ryan Hart at the 8:47 mark of the third quarter. Moses entered the week ranked 13th nationally in receptions/game (7.0).
Moses Sets New Career High
With his 12 catches, Tres Moses set a new career high for receptions, besting his 11-catch effort two weeks ago at Vanderbilt.
Hart Goes Over 300 Yards
For the third time this season, and fifth time in his career, Ryan Hart threw for over 300 yards in a game.
First Time Tidbits:
- Corey Hyman made his collegiate debut at the 5:40 mark of the first quarter, replacing Brian Duffy at left guard. (he is the ninth different offensive lineman to see action in 2004) He is the 14th newcomer, and sixth true freshman to play this season.
- Will Vogt saw his first action of 2004, appearing at left guard in the closing minutes of the second quarter.
- CB Anthony Miller saw his first action of the season when he entered the game in the third quarter.
- Brandon Renkart saw his first action on special teams (kick-off return) in the fourth quarter
- An opponent has scored a touchdown vs. Rutgers on an opening drive this season
Shawell Sees Action
At the 10:18 mark of the third quarter, Terrence Shawell made his RU debut (the 15th player to make his debut this season), replacing Ryan Hart at quarterback. Prior to Shawell's entry, Hart had taken every offensive snap over the last 9 games (752 consecutive offensive plays). After sitting out one snap, Hart returned to the game and completed 4-of-5 passes, including a 13-yarder to Tres Moses for a touchdown, Moses' first this season.
Johnson Records First INT
Senior safety Jarvis Johnson recorded his first interception when he picked off a Tyler Palko pass in the first quarter. Johnson tied for the Rutgers team lead with a pair of picks last season.
McDonald Returns To Action
After missing the last two games, right tackle Sameeh McDonald returned to action, starting today's game vs. the Panthers. McDonald started the first four games of the season before suffering an injury vs. Syracuse (10/2) and was replaced by Jeremy Zuttah at Vanderbilt (10/9) and Cameron Stephenson vs. Temple (10/16).
Ito Dials Long Distance In First Quarter
Freshman K Jeremy Ito put Rutgers on the scoreboard at the 7:38 mark of the first quarter, banging a 48-yard field goal. The 48-yarder tied a career high (9/11 vs. UNH) and is the fifth FG of 40 or more yards this season for Ito, one more than in the previous four seasons combined. Ito has also converted his last five attempts.
Bynes Adds to BIG EAST-Leading Total
Linebacker Terry Bynes entered the week with a BIG EAST-best three fumble recoveries and added to that total when he picked up a fumbled exchange by Pittsburgh in the second quarter.
Sack Streak Reaches 19 Games
A first-quarter sack by Ryan Neill and David Harley extended Rutgers' consecutive-sack streak to 19 games. RU entered this afternoon's game ranked first in the BIG EAST in sacks with 24. RU added another sack in the third quarter as well (Rivas, Lukabu).
Leonard Extends Streak to 11 Games
RB Brian Leonard ran his streak of consecutive games with 100 or more all-purpose yards to 11 games this afternoon. He finished the third quarter with 106 (78 rushing, 28 receiving) including his 7th TD of the season.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Rutgers............. 3 0 14 0 - 17 Record: (4-3,1-2) Pittsburgh.......... 14 24 0 3 - 41 Record: (5-2,3-1) Scoring Summary: 1st 12:12 PITT - DELSARDO,Joe 18 yd pass from PALKO,Tyler (CUMMINGS,Josh kick), 7-80 2:48, RUTGERS 0 - PITT 7 07:38 RUTGERS - ITO, Jeremy 48 yd field goal, 7-18 1:36, RUTGERS 3 - PITT 7 01:23 PITT - DELSARDO,Joe 17 yd pass from PALKO,Tyler (CUMMINGS,Josh kick), 8-61 3:31, RUTGERS 3 - PITT 14 2nd 11:18 PITT - KIRKLEY,Raymond 1 yd run (CUMMINGS,Josh kick), 9-54 2:54, RUTGERS 3 - PITT 21 06:50 PITT - LAY,Josh 82 yd interception return (CUMMINGS,Josh kick), , RUTGERS 3 - PITT 28 02:43 PITT - CUMMINGS,Josh 47 yd field goal, 7-23 2:43, RUTGERS 3 - PITT 31 00:29 PITT - GILL,Erik 5 yd pass from PALKO,Tyler (CUMMINGS,Josh kick), 4-50 1:12, RUTGERS 3 - PITT 38 3rd 08:47 RUTGERS - MOSES, Tres 13 yd pass from HART, Ryan (ITO, Jeremy kick), 1 0-92 2:44, RUTGERS 10 - PITT 38 04:30 RUTGERS - LEONARD, Brian 1 yd run (ITO, Jeremy kick), 5-77 1:27, RUTGERS 17 - PITT 38 4th 14:04 PITT - CUMMINGS,Josh 40 yd field goal, 7-33 2:22, RUTGERS 17 - PITT 41 RUTGERS PITT FIRST DOWNS................... 18 26 RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 22-56 42-79 PASSING YDS (NET)............. 351 318 Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 57-31-4 43-27-1 TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 79-407 85-397 Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0 Punt Returns-Yards............ 4-19 1-15 Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 3-50 3-47 Interception Returns-Yards.... 1-14 4-94 Punts (Number-Avg)............ 6-36.3 7-35.4 Fumbles-Lost.................. 2-1 2-1 Penalties-Yards............... 9-65 7-45 Possession Time............... 25:04 34:56 Third-Down Conversions........ 6 of 17 4 of 18 Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 3 2 of 2 Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 2-3 4-5 Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 3-38 2-20 RUSHING: Rutgers-LEONARD, Brian 18-78; SHAWELL, Terenc 1-minus 3; HART, Ryan 3-minus 19. Pittsburgh-MURPHY,Tim 10-33; KIRKLEY,Raymond 13-26; MASON,Brandon 7-20; CAMPBELL,Kellen 2-2; PALKO,Tyler 10-minus 2. PASSING: Rutgers-HART, Ryan 31-57-4-351. Pittsburgh-PALKO,Tyler 27-43-1-318. RECEIVING: Rutgers-MOSES, Tres 12-113; DANIELS, Marcus 6-36; HARRIS, Clark 5-100; LEONARD, Brian 3-28; BAKER, Chris 2-55; BELJOUR, Jean 2-17; FACYSON, Markis 1-2. Pittsburgh-DELSARDO,Joe 8-102; LEE,Greg 6-102; MURPHY,Tim 4-37; ACIERNO,Justin 4-17; KIRKLEY,Raymond 3-34; GILL,Erik 2-26. INTERCEPTIONS: Rutgers-JOHNSON, Jarvis 1-14. Pittsburgh-REVIS,Darrelle 1-0; GILLIARD,Tyrone 1-12; BLADES,H.B. 1-0; LAY,Josh 1-82. FUMBLES: Rutgers-SHAWELL, Terenc 1-0; HART, Ryan 1-1. Pittsburgh-PALKO,Tyler 2-1. Stadium: Heinz Field Attendance: 41232 Kickoff time: 12:08 PM End of Game: 3:57 PM Total elapsed time: 3:49 Temperature: 58.4 deg Wind: 5 mph SE Weather: Partly cloudy