I had Pitt at #16 and Utah at #22 in my pre-season poll so this one looked like it would be a close one. Ross picked Utah to win 27-23 in his Six-Pack preview. Here is a breakdown of the action:
Dion Lewis got 18 yards on his first carry but Pitt got too cute after easily picking up a first down on their first set of downs and had to punt on their first drive. Utah moved the ball well on their first drive but they fumbled and gave Pitt the ball in Utah territory. Dion Lewis reminds me a little of Warrick Dunn due to his size and the way he bounces around trying to juke and jive. Pitt missed a very makeable 42 yard FG. Utah's offense looked better than Pitt's in the 1st stanza but they came away with nothing to show for it.
Utah made a huge mistake on a Pitt punt. The Utah return man ran up to catch the ball, called for a fair catch, and let it hit off his hands and Pitt recovered. Two fumbles for Utah’s Smithson in the first 15 minutes of the season. Pitt got the ball inside the Utah 30 to start the second quarter. Pitt drove the ball and Dion Lewis scored on a short TD run. Utah brought this score on themselves as they were losing the early turnover battle 2-0.
Pitt 7 Utah 0
Matt Asiata broke off a good 15 yard run right up the middle to get the ball to mid-field. Jordan Wynn then started to get into a groove and hit multiple receivers before connecting over the middle for a TD to Jeremy Brooks. Very impressive TD drive from Utah.
Pitt 7 Utah 7
After Utah scored, the Pitt returner let the ball hit off of him and it bounced about 15 yards and Utah recovered. Turnover battle: Utah 2 Pitt 1. Utah took over on the Pitt 35 and Jordan Wynn stood back in the pocket and delivered a 24 yard pass down the sideline that would have been a TD if the receiver could have stayed in bounds. Utah ran a good roll out and Wynn hit an easy TD pass. The Utah offense is looking good.
Utah 14 Pitt 7
Utah started off the next defensive series with a sack of Tino Sunseri for a loss of 9 yards. Pitt quickly went three and out. On third and long RB Eddie Wide took a hand-off and broke a tackle and went 20 yards to keep the drive going. Wynn launched a jump ball and the Utah receiver did a great job stopping his route and making a play on the ball and coming down with the catch. Utah had the ball inside the 10, Pitt put on a blitz and Wynn threw one up and the Pitt defender got a huge pick in the end zone to keep this game from starting to get out of hand. Pitt ran down the clock and considered themselves lucky to be down only 7 points.
Utah got the ball first and Wynn hit Brooks on a crossing route for 46 yards down near the red zone. Pittsburgh held tough inside the red zone but Utah was able to hit a FG to go up two scores.
Utah 17 Pitt 7
Pitt is just too one dimensional on offense and Utah is really keying in on Dion Lewis. Potential game-changing special teams play as Pitt blocked a punt and got the ball inside the 10 yard line. Utah up by 10 at this point but has 3 turnovers and has given up a block punt. The Pitt offense went backwards but K Dan Hutchins was able to get one just inside the goal posts from 37 yards out. The only reason Pitt is in this game is because of Utah’s mistakes.
Utah 17 Pitt 10
Utah went 3 and out and Wynn looked a little bit ruffled. Pitt started to put together a drive before the 3rd quarter ended.
Dion Lewis took a pitch and just got smothered for a loss of 5 yards. After getting a gutty 4th and 1 conversion Pitt went backwards on three straight plays and had to settle for a FG. Hutchins hit an easy 29 yarder. This was Pitt’s first good drive of the entire game but they came up short of getting the ball in the end zone.
Utah 17 Pitt 13
Wynn hit a slant to Davonte Christopher for 60 yards and a TD! Big time play. 8 minutes left but that one should just about do it unless a different Pitt team comes out for the next kickoff.
Utah 24 Pitt 13
Johnathon Baldwin got wide open and Sunseri hit him with a high arching 40 yard TD pass. Pitt went for two and went to Baldwin again for a successful conversion. Pitt moved from hammering the ball unsuccessfully with Dion Lewis to passing to Baldwin and it really paid off on this drive.
Utah 24 Pitt 21
Pitt stopped Utah and Utah shanked a punt with just three minutes left in the game. The punt didn't even make it past mid-field. Sunseri hit a big pass over the middle for 20 yards with only 20 seconds left in the game. Hutchins knocked down a game-tying FG.
Pitt 24 Utah 24
But wait, apparently the FG did not count and Utah was given a timeout to “ice” the kicker. Hutchins misses left but the whistles were blowing before the kick missed and Utah had called another time out. Doh! Finally, Hutchins got a real kick and just barely squeezes it inside the up-rights.
Utah won the toss and deferred. Sunseri rolled out but he held onto the ball too long and under-threw his receiver. The Utah DB broke in front and got a huge interception. Utah just pounded the ball up the middle and inside the 5 yard line. Utah kicker Joe Phillips came on and won the game with a 21 yard FG
Final Score: Utah 27 Pitt 24
Lots of mistakes in this game in the form of turnovers and penalties. Big win for Utah. Jordan Wynn looked impressive throughout most of the game but still showed his inexperience by hoisting a few passes that he should not have thrown. I would expect Utah to be 8-0 when they go to TCU on Nov 6th to seek revenge on the Horned Frogs (the Frogs put up 55 on Utah last year). For Pitt, this was a tough loss. Pitt is expected to contend for the Big East title (here on the blog we actually picked them to win the league, although I will mention my pick for the conference is West Virginia). Pitt really had some poor playing calling in the first half and got too one dimensional in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. I think Pitt and Sunseri will get better as the year goes on. Despite Pitt not playing very well tonight they were in the game and had a chance to win at the end but could not pull it off. Pitt has a gimme next week but then they face another tough battle against Miami and if they play the way they did tonight my money will be on Miami.
Player of the Game
Jordan Wynn, QB, Utah
21 of 36 for 283 yds, 3 TD and 1 INT
Dion Lewis, RB, Pitt
25 carries for 75 yds, 1 TD, 1 reception
Jon Baldwin, WR, Pitt
4 rec for 71 yds, 1 TD
DeVonte Christopher, WR, Utah
8 rec for 155 yds, 1 TD
Jereme Brooks, WR, Utah
5 rec for 87 yds, 2 TD