Pittsburgh takes down Syracuse in record-breaking barnburner

Charles LeClaire/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Pittsburgh's win over Syracuse redefined “basketball score” football.

In the highest-scoring game in FBS history, the Panthers outlasted their former Big East rivals 76-61, bolstered by four touchdowns through the air from quarterback Nathan Peterman and two additional scores on the ground from star running back James Conner. In a meeting that will give defensive coaches nightmares, Syracuse's uptempo offense kept pace with more total yards (668), fewer turnovers (one) and a monster game from record-setting receiver Amba Etta-Tawo (178 yards, 5 touchdowns).

The barnburner was perhaps a perfect storm for both programs. Pittsburgh finds itself in the most prolific offensive season in school history, averaging 42.3 points per game, while the Orange's attack has exploded under new head coach Dino Babers — couple such improvements with two of the 13 worst pass defenses (in terms of total yardage) nationally before the meeting, and a big game should not come as a surprise.

Still, 137 combined points is ridiculous. More ridiculousness:

— These two programs met three times in basketball last season … and never once reached a combined 137 points.

— The Panthers scored 76 on 57 plays.

— Peterman completed just nine pass in the win.

— Pitt's 76 points were the most ever given up by a Syracuse team, breaking a record that stood for 125 years.