Pitt vs. UConn 2012 results: Panthers' bowl hopes on life support after loss to Huskies

Jared Wickerham

The Pittsburgh Panthers allowed UConn to reach its second highest scoring total of the season, falling to the Huskies, 24-17.

The Pittsburgh Panthers were unable to overcome a 24-0 halftime deficit and lost to the Connecticut Huskies, 24-17, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. Pittsburgh would score 17 unanswered in the second half, but were unable to overcome the damage done earlier in the game by the UConn offense.

Connecticut would march for scores on their first two drives. The Huskies took their opening drive 75 yards, scoring on a two-yard pass from Chandler Whitmer to Ryan Griffin. After a Panther three-and-out, Connecticut would go on another long drive, beginning on their own 27 and ending with a 29-yard Chad Christen field goal. The Huskies would add another touchdown in the second quarter on a Pitt special teams breakdown, with Nick Williams returning a punt 80 yards for a score. Lyle McCombs would end the scoring for UConn with touchdown run late in the second quarter. The 24 points in the half matched the Huskies' second highest scoring total of the season. Meanwhile, the Pitt offense couldn't get out of their own way, gaining a measly 86 yards of offense.

Pitt finally got on the board to open the third quarter, sparked by a big special teams play of their own, a 57 yard kickoff return by Cameron Saddler. However, the Pitt offense was unable to capitalize, settling for the field goal. Pitt finally put together a sustained drive to start the fourth quarter, with three big passing plays by Tino Sunseri, two caught by Devin Street for a combined 46 yards, and an 11-yard touchdown pass to Drew Carswell. The Panthers would add another score on an 18-yard reception by Mike Shanahan. However, Pittsburgh elected to kick the ball deep and was unable to prevent UConn from gaining a first down and icing the game.

Tino Sunseri finished 19 of 34 for 302 yards and two touchdowns. However, Ray Graham gained only 41 yards on 15 carries. Pitt actually outgained UConn, 350-345, but were unable to match the Huskies on the scoreboard.

The game drops Pitt to 4-6 and puts the team's bowl hopes on life support. They need wins in both of the last two games to attain bowl eligibility. The Panthers face Rutgers at home next week, followed by the season finale at South Florida.

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