NCAA FB

Pittsburgh 20, Buffalo 6

Share This Story

   
 

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)

Pittsburgh running backs Ray Graham and Rushel Shell each had a touchdown rushing in helping the Panthers snap a two-game skid with a 20-6 win over the Buffalo Bulls on Saturday.

Graham had 74 yards rushing, while Shell had 35 yards rushing and a 41-yard catch as the Panthers' run attack regained its stride. Pitt (3-4) finished with 126 yards rushing after combining for just 120 in its previous two games.

The Panthers, in their final Big East Conference season, avoided their first 2-5 start since 2001 and improved to 4-0 all-time against Buffalo, and 29-3 against Mid-American Conference opponents.

Devin Campbell had 104 yards rushing for Buffalo (1-6), which lost its fifth straight. With the loss, the Mid-American Conference Bulls will finish no better than .500 for the 15th time in 16 years.

Leading 13-6, the Panthers took control on their second possession of the second half on Graham's 7-yard run to cap a nine-play, 58-yard drive.

Panthers quarterback Tino Sunseri, the Big East's most efficient passer this season, sparked the drive by hitting all four passes for 50 yards. It included a 25-yard pass in finding Mike Shanahan open cutting across the middle to convert third-and-14.

Sunseri went 9 of 17 for 128 yards on a blustery, rain-soaked afternoon that featured a heavy rain beginning to fall late in the third quarter.

The Panthers defense also proved stout, limiting Buffalo to convert just seven of 19 third-down chances. Dan Mason, filling in for injured middle linebacker Shane Gordon (high ankle sprain), had 11 tackles and one of the team's three sacks.

The Bulls were competitive in coming off an embarrassing 45-3 loss at Northern Illinois but were sloppy in their homecoming game.

Buffalo quarterback Alex Zordich threw an interception that led to Pitt's first touchdown. The Bulls also botched a field-goal attempt in the third quarter.

Zordich finished 23 of 41 for 165 yards. Kicker Patrick Clarke accounted for all the scoring, hitting both field-goal attempts, from 27 and 41 yards.

Pittsburgh was hoping to use the game against Buffalo as an opportunity to build momentum entering the second half in what's been a confounding season. It's a year in which the Panthers have lost to Youngstown State, an FCS program, and yet upset then-No. 13 Virginia Tech 35-17.

Despite the win, the Panthers' offense continued its string of difficulties in the first half.

Though they scored on three consecutive drives in building a 13-0 lead, they were twice forced to settle for field goals. That included squandering a golden opportunity to blow the game open after Sunseri hit Shell on a screen pass that resulted in a 41-yard gain, giving Pitt the ball at the Buffalo 6-yard line. Two Shell runs and a batted down pass led to Kevin Harper hitting a 22-yard field goal with 2:12 left in the first quarter.

Pitt was coming off a 45-35 loss to Louisville in which it went 0-for-3 on fourth-down conversions. Two weeks ago, the Panthers came up empty despite two fourth-quarter drives inside the Syracuse 30 in a 14-13 loss to the Orange.

Against Buffalo, the Panthers finally found the end zone on their fourth possession when Shell scored on a 4-yard run. It was set up by Jason Hendricks' interception of Alex Zordich's pass.

With the wind at their back, the Bulls responded in the second quarter with two lengthy marches that ended with field goals to cut Pitt's lead to 13-6.

The Bulls were without their two top offensive threats. Running back Branden Oliver (week to week with right leg injury) missed his fourth straight game, while receiver Alex Neutz did not play after being shaken up in a 45-3 loss at Northern Illinois last week.

Tagged: Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Ray Graham, Tino Sunseri, Alex Neutz, Alex Zordich

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash