Pitt defeated the Syracuse Orange Saturday 33-20 at Heinz Field to become bowl eligible.
The Panthers played a good game, but Syracuse will remember it as a mistake-prone contest. The Orange finished with 10 total penalties for 95 yards and while they did much better in that aspect in the second half (one penalty for five yards), the early mistakes plagued the team.
But even worse than the penalties were the turnovers. The Orange had six of them – four lost fumbles and two interceptions.
Still, Pitt wasn’t able to pull away and the Orange even had a chance late to win. They had the ball late in the fourth quarter deep in their own territory down only six. Antwuan Reed recovered a fumble for Pitt, though, and returned it for a touchdown, sealing the game for the Panthers.
Freshman running back Isaac Bennett filled in admirably in place of the injured Zach Brown. Bennett had only 51 yards on the ground on 13 carries, but also had 61 yards on seven catches and scored the first touchdown of the game.
Pitt now will wait to find out its bowl fate to see if they’ll be invited to postseason play.