Pittsburgh 24, Connecticut 21
PITTSBURGH (AP)Dan Hutchins kicked an 18-yard field goal on the final play and Pittsburgh pulled off the biggest comeback in coach Dave Wannstedt's five seasons, rallying from 15 points down to beat Connecticut 24-21 on Saturday.
Connecticut (3-2, 0-1 in Big East) led 21-6 after Andre Dixon scored on a 2-yard run to end a 61-yard drive with 3:56 remaining in the third quarter. But Pitt quarterback Bill Stull, who made several major mistakes in the first half, found Jonathan Baldwin on a 26-yard scoring pass play set up by Dion Lewis' 32-yard run to cut it to 21-13.
Pitt (5-1, 2-0) tied it midway through the fourth quarter when Stull and his roommate, tight end Dorin Dickerson, hooked up on a 27-yard pass play for Dickerson's seventh touchdown of the season.
Stull then hit Cedric McGee for the 2-point conversion. Stull went 21 of 31 for 268 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, and Lewis, a freshman who is the nation's No. 6 rusher, ran for 158 yards on 24 carries.
UConn never got any offense going while being outgained 147-6 in the fourth quarter. After the Huskies punted, Stull drove Pitt 74 yards for Hutchins' third field goal despite failing to score himself from the 1 on third-and-goal and time running out.
Pitt improved to 5-1 for the fifth time since 2000. The Panthers' previous biggest comeback under Wannstedt came in a 36-33, four-overtime win at Notre Dame last season, when they trailed by 14.
Pitt was in control early, but twice couldn't convert excellent scoring chances. Lewis was open in the end zone but dropped what would have been a 43-yard touchdown catch on the Panthers' first drive.
After UConn punted, Stull had Jonathan Baldwin open in the end zone on a first-down throw from the Huskies' 33, but Baldwin had to change direction to try to catch the pass over his shoulder and it was broken up. Baldwin made eight catches for 104 yards.
Instead of being up 14-0, Pitt came away from the two drives with only a Hutchins 42-yard field and a 3-0 lead.
Connecticut, which played a relatively soft schedule before Big East play, answered when Marcus Easley got behind Ricky Gary to connect with Cody Endres on a 79-yard touchdown pass play with 2:46 remaining in the first half. Easley had made only two catches all season but finished with two for 100 yards.
Endres, who played high school football in nearby Washington, Pa., made his third consecutive start for the injured Zach Frazer and went 17 of 23 for 197 yards.
Stull, who couldn't find his own receivers in the end zone earlier, then threw a pass directly into Robert Vaughn's hands for a 20-yard interception return touchdown on a pass apparently intended for Baldwin early in the third quarter and Uconn led 14-3. Stull came into the game with 11 touchdown passes and only one interception, but was picked off twice by Vaughn.